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What next… 25 April 2009

Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, Border Issues, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Mexico.

A man covers his head with a plastic bag amid a sandstorm in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region April 23, 2009. A strong sandstorm hit the region on Thursday, local media reported. [REUTERS/Stringer]

Of course sand storms are as old as… the shifting sands – and the wind.

Things do seem a little extra unstable just now.  Who;’s in charge?


On and on it goes:

[W]illiam Schaffner, a flu expert at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tenn., told Bloomberg that the investigation of the outbreak “has a sense of urgency about it. They are asking us who work in hospitals to go to our emergency rooms and our pediatric wards to gather specimens and start testing them.”

Officials are concerned because of the apparent novel form of virus that is implicated in the outbreak. The “Spanish Flu” of 1918 may have killed as many as 50 million people worldwide. Smaller, but very deadly, outbreaks of flu also occurred globally in 1957 and 1968.

However, Bloomberg reports that Anne Schuchat, director of respiratory diseases at the CDC, told reporters on a conference call on Friday that “We don’t think this is a time for major concern.”

A minor pandemic of no great concern.



1. marisacat - 25 April 2009

My evening news also identifies Minnesota… with swine flu or suspected sf outbreak.

2. marisacat - 25 April 2009

The children are expected to survive, but we just had a report of two (no update is THREE) children, 1 and 4 and 14, shot at an intersection in the East Bay.

It’s just going to bubble along. Bubble and boil.

3. NYCO - 25 April 2009

No one in the U.S. seems to be horrendously ill, yet in Mexico they continue to die. Mexican govt now says 81 dead, 1300+ ill.

BooHooHooMan - 25 April 2009

Might be something to it.
Typically, We’re so…. so…. impervious.
How can such a virus make it in to the American orifice against the torrent of secretion normally making its exit?

Surely no ill will befall us.

4. catnip - 25 April 2009
marisacat - 25 April 2009

Mine eyes are upon you! BIIIG black kitty….

Is that one one of yours?

catnip - 25 April 2009

Yup. He’s just a huge baby. Almost 9 yrs old.

Intermittent Bystander - 25 April 2009

Obaminamiable Feline of yes we meow! fame?

catnip - 25 April 2009

You got it! 🙂

5. marisacat - 25 April 2009

hmm this report was filed this morning. Seems more than “mild”.

[P]atrick Henshaw called his wife immediately to have Hayden checked for it. Later, they received the bad news.

Hayden had become the third confirmed case of swine flu at his Texas high school. It is a virus that has killed 68 people in Mexico and infected at least eight people in the United States.

Health officials arrived at the Henshaws’ house Friday and drew blood from the whole family, then told them to stay inside and away from the public, Henshaw told CNN.

The whole family is quarantined indefinitely, according to CNN-affiliate KABB. Henshaw said his family was shocked when they got the news about their son.

“Stunned. My wife was having a panic attack,” Henshaw told the affiliate. …snip…

6. marisacat - 25 April 2009

I know the AP report was linked to last thread but here it is from Politco’s Whiteboard, Gibbs. Can you imagine the panic at the WH when his personal guide thru the museum DIED.

Robert Gibbs said on Saturday that “the President’s trip to Mexico has not put his health in any danger,” the Associated Press reports. According to reports, Obama was guided through a Mexico’s City museum by Felipe Solis, who passed away the next day and reportedly had flu-like symptoms.

Intermittent Bystander - 25 April 2009

Whoa Nellie. Call the SG, stat!

wu ming - 26 April 2009

people would have freaked the fuck out had obama caught that flu, seemingly out of nowhere. it’s amazing solis died the next day.

marisacat - 26 April 2009

EXCEPT there are now three stories, no tilt that I can determine between them, except don’t you think the WH should have the right one?

AP says he died a week later and Mexican news sources say he died of a heart attack….

I say we profess our trust in Gibbs and go with the first story. next day, face down, Schwine Flue.

marisacat - 26 April 2009

NYT has a round up piece on the Flew… leaves out all sorts of tidbits that are in regional or smaller venue reporting. During the night, there were reports that NZ has quarantined about 25 people, a school group returning from Mexico …

7. marisacat - 25 April 2009

Another report to the BBC from a local…

Yesterday in my office it was a bit surreal walking in to see all in blue masks with deep cleansing of computer equipment and surfaces going on. Let’s hope it is contained and does not escalate.

The local news is reporting 200 fatalities and reports of flu spreading from areas outside of Mexico City. Given the volume of daily commuter traffic on cramped busses and trains, this may not have to be too virulent to be disastrous in human terms. I wonder what controls there will be on flights in and out.

Will Shea, Mexico City

8. Intermittent Bystander - 25 April 2009

Sheer candy, for those partial.

catnip - 25 April 2009

Squirrel nut zippers? Are those like chipmunk ball buttons?

Intermittent Bystander - 25 April 2009

My gustatory recollection is that they’re hell on fillings.

Gotta love the band, though, right? As I used to say to a dog or two I’ve known . . . SQUIRRELS!

Intermittent Bystander - 25 April 2009

Oops, meant to say gotta love the name of the candy AND the band.

9. marisacat - 25 April 2009

Hand it to the old white Tories:

“UK on Alert for Killer Mexican Swine Flu”

Way down the article those lying thieving scurrilous Mexicans are trying to say WE gave it to them. How dare they.

He [Angel Luis Cordova, Mexico Health Sec] said the genetic code showed the virus had originated in Eurasia and could have entered Mexico via Texas or California.


It barely got mentioned but once or twice, but up here in the killing of the child in Tracy, the Mexican farm workers who notified the authorities of the suitcase in the drainage ditch were offered the 26K that had been collected as a reward, and turned it down.

Madman in the Marketplace - 26 April 2009

too busy living high on the hog with all of that welfare money they take, or something … /channeling Glen Beck fan>

10. NYCO - 26 April 2009

All Sunday masses in Mexico have been cancelled.

Madman in the Marketplace - 26 April 2009

wait, I thought prayer was supposed to help?!?!

It’s worked so well in the past …

11. Madman in the Marketplace - 26 April 2009

I can’t believe I live in a country where “serious” people are openly arguing that torture “works” … for weeks/months now.

this is a barbarous nation.

If people want to know why politics is broken and corrupt, they need only look at this “debate” over torture, over whether people SHOULD be tortured, or even if we should TALK about it.

My favorite argument is that “publicizing” it will create more terrorism. Jeebus.

catnip - 26 April 2009

Great minds think a like. Just woke up and getting ready to write a post about “The Debate Americans Shouldn’t be Having”.

12. Madman in the Marketplace - 26 April 2009

Police fire baton rounds at Kent State rioters

Apr 26th, 2009 | KENT, Ohio — Police fired baton rounds and used pepper spray to break up hundreds of rioting college students who sparked a string of street fires at Kent State University.

Video shows students hurling furniture and street signs into the flames on Saturday night as a SWAT team in riot gear converges on the crowd. Kent police say the riot began when partying students ignored orders to disperse and pelted police officers with bottles and rocks.

Police dispatcher Rosemarie Mosher (MOH’-sher) says 64 students were arrested, and several officers suffered minor injuries. Mosher says the riot occurred on an off-campus street where many students live.

13. marisacat - 26 April 2009

The chilluns tested +

Breaking News from ABCNEWS.com:

Eight N.Y. High School Students Test Positive for Swine Flu, N.Y. Mayor Says

For more on this and other breaking news go to ABCNews.com: http://abcnews.go.com


there was a report (not a blog entry) around during the night that 200 students in NYC/Queens had reported ill with flu symptoms.

they gotta get their stories straight. How many reporting sources are there on contagion? Public Health Service, school authorities, CDC, WHO…

14. catnip - 26 April 2009

Press conference about the flu on CNN right now ( 9:30 PST)

15. marisacat - 26 April 2009


“U.S. public health officials did not know about a growing outbreak of swine flu in Mexico until nearly a week after that country started invoking protective measures, and didn’t learn that the deaths were caused by a rare strain of the influenza until after Canadian officials did. . . . U.S. public health officials are still largely in the dark about what’s happening in Mexico two weeks after the outbreak was recognized.”

the subtitle is that the Canadians knew of hte rare strain before we did.


Asked at a news conference yesterday whether the number of swine flu cases found daily in Mexico is increasing — a key determinant in understanding whether an epidemic is spreading — Anne Schuchat, an interim deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said, “I do not know the answer to those questions.”

catnip - 26 April 2009

Well you just know Napolitano is going to Blame Canada! 😉

marisacat - 26 April 2009

You have geese that overfly us and go directly to Mexico and pick up the info.

It has to be stopped. They use our air space. How dare they. Who do the geese think they are.

I think we can charge them as freeloading illegal migrants.

catnip - 26 April 2009

Everybody knows our geese prefer Florida. 😉

wu ming - 27 April 2009

amazing what a little socialized healthcare will do.

16. NYCO - 26 April 2009

Heh, my Internet provider (Time Warner) had a total Northeastern outage this morning. It felt like pre-Internet days again! I’m almost sorry it’s back…

As for swine flu, the latest is that the CDC is recommending that U.S. officials plan for school closures. I think they want to put the hammer down whenever it appears.

marisacat - 26 April 2009

I think they want to put the hammer down whenever it appears.

I wouldn’t blame them for that at all.. because some of the unofficial admittedly anecdotal from Mexico is very worrisome.

But we waffle about in the dark…

17. marisacat - 26 April 2009

HA! I laughed when I read this. We have no clue what is going on.

Breaking News from ABCNEWS.com:

U.S. Declares Swine Flu Is ‘Public Health Emergency,’ a Term That Does Not Signal a Greater Threat

For more on this and other breaking news go to ABCNews.com: http://abcnews.go.com

There was just a radio news on the hour update that we have ONE case in CA. Last night we had 7… maybe 8. All recovered of course.

catnip - 26 April 2009

There was a CDN news conference today that reminded people that 4,000 people die annually here from the good old-fashioned type of flu. Not to worry (much).

They also said that the US had to declare an “emergency” to tap into resources while we don’t have to do that here to make sure anti-virals can be distributed.

That just reminded me of this: Who Owns the Rights on Tamiflu: Rumsfeld To Profit From Bird Flu Hoax (2005)

marisacat - 26 April 2009

northern cal school (nr sacto) closing down this week due to ”fears”… i figured something was coming as for 48 hrs they have assured us here that, ”should anything happen”, we are ready!

18. catnip - 26 April 2009

Medical Director: Swine Flu Was “Cultured In A Laboratory”

Editor’s note: On Friday, NPR reported that the deadly swine flu “combines genetic material from pigs, birds and humans in a way researchers have not seen before,” thus leading us to suspect it was cooked up in a lab.

Swine flu panic is spreading in Mexico and soldiers are patrolling the streets after it was confirmed that human to human transmission is occurring and that the virus is a brand new strain which is seemingly affecting young, healthy people the worst. Questions about the source of the outbreak are also being asked after a public health official said that the virus was “cultured in a laboratory”.

“This strain of swine influenza that’s been cultured in a laboratoryis something that’s not been seen anywhere actually in the United States and the world, so this is actually a new strain of influenza that’s been identified,” said Dr. John Carlo, Dallas Co. Medical Director (video clip here).

OTOH, one CDN expert described flu strains as being “promiscuous”. They’ll basically mate with anything, according to him.

Madman in the Marketplace - 26 April 2009

I was wondering about that, since it seemed like the levels of illness were different depending on region, like it was a test run /tin foil hat>

Intermittent Bystander - 26 April 2009

Don’t be barkers, Madman! Everyone knows that bio-labs are all secure and all their scientists are perfectly ethical, not to mention sane.

NYCO - 27 April 2009

World animal health organization is noting that this strain of “swine flu” has never actually been observed in swine, hence they say calling it “swine flu” is incorrect.

Let’s just call it The Plague. What’s a world civilizational collapse without a plague?

mattes - 27 April 2009

Earmarks of a designer virus. Do people think there are not scientists working on this right now? Targeting certain genetic groups….

artemis54 - 28 April 2009

Oh educate your dumb ass before you shoot your mouth off. Influenza viruses are constantly mutating.

This is utter nonsense. Pigs have receptors in the cell lining of their gut that accommmodate both avian and human strains of flu. That is why the constant migration and intermixing of viruses between all three results in new strains all the time.

The 1918 outbreak affected millions of pigs, but never succeeded in mutating into a real swine virus.

Look to the sewage ponds with thousands of birds nearby.

No pigs have died from this flu. None. That doesn’t mean it was cooked up in a lab. You are engaging in the most irresponsible sort of conspiracy theorizing.

mattes - 28 April 2009

I stand by what I said.

19. Intermittent Bystander - 26 April 2009

Barking in moderation, I think?

I was at a Mardi Gras Festival today, believe it or not. A charity thing, and funnily enough more people show up and drink more Hurricanes and listen to music outdoors when it ISN’T February here.

It got to 88 in Albany yesterday. Broke a record from 1915 or so.

20. Intermittent Bystander - 26 April 2009


I also learned a family member attended a tea party and plans to go to a bigger one on July 4!

Madman in the Marketplace - 26 April 2009

can you ask him/her to say hello to the Mad Hatter and Cheshire Cat for me?

Oh, wait … not THAT tea party?

Intermittent Bystander - 26 April 2009

Well, we were able to share a good snicker about (a) the bipartisan decades involved in the policies being protested and (b) the hats.

There was a massively distracting subplot involving an ex-spouse and its new lover, so,

Sure! Will pass along your greetings!

Intermittent Bystander - 26 April 2009

PS – All of the above also prevented me from quizzing FM about what, in particular, the outrage concerned.

Will report further intelligence, if and as received.

Madman in the Marketplace - 26 April 2009

if you’re looking for intelligence, that won’t be the place!

Intermittent Bystander - 26 April 2009

I canceled 2 replies mocking my own current dearth thereof and/or expressing gratitude for any source of immediate, mid, or long-term receipt.

Nyuk nyuk nyuk.

21. Intermittent Bystander - 26 April 2009

catnip – OTOH, one CDN expert described flu strains as being “promiscuous”. They’ll basically mate with anything, according to him.

Some time back I settled on promiscuous as an apt description of my overweening (more like never weaned) sense of curiosity.

Does that make me viral?

Intermittent Bystander - 26 April 2009

Never mind. Don’t answer that!

22. Intermittent Bystander - 26 April 2009

Special to ms_xeno – you continue to stand out as Zen lifestyle guru.

Comics are the way to go.

23. marisacat - 26 April 2009

NorCal update… the Sacramento area student who is ill, or was the start case, went home ill a week agp, on Monday. By Friday, 7 were out. (It’s a Catholic school as well… )

Good idea to shut the school.

24. catnip - 26 April 2009
25. marisacat - 26 April 2009

I have been doing escapist things all day.. just silly dumb stuff. And discovered in a google fest that my old law firm dissolved Dec 1 2008. years late is all I can say.

I have been enjoying the months old enmity (naming of asshole partners, still names I know, GAH) and bitterness and truthtelling in the legal blogs. And laughing a lot:

Posted by guest | Permalink Tuesday, October 28, 2008 10:03 PM

Damn. I am going to miss picking on this sh*thead law firm. What other firm is going to provide this amount of entertainment? Years of incompetence that we can joke about. The loss to us who like to point out Thelen’s flaws is greater than just loss to the Thelen workers, who only lost their jobs. We lost something meaningful, at least the Thelen people get some time off. Damn.

206 Posted by guest | Permalink Tuesday, October 28, 2008 10:06 PM

Speaking of dying firms — Anybody heard rumors of Powell Goldstein in Atlanta merging with either Bryan Cave or Nixon?

207 Posted by guest | Permalink Tuesday, October 28, 2008 10:14 PM

I’d recommend going to DOJ, FDIC, Commerce…they’ll be investigating these Biglaw jerks for their role in the economic collapse in about…three months.

Save your skins….turn on your partners now and avoid prison.

208 Posted by guest | Permalink Tuesday, October 28, 2008 10:17 PM

Thank God this firm is gone. This is good news for all of us. Thelen was dragging everyone down.

Dishing all the big firms, too. I am so oout of date, reading an old thread, probably the firms dished are gone, or major practice groups are gone or offices are shuttered.

SF is back where it was in ’91, ’92 drowning in empty office space. I sat by a window and was in Facilities, I would peer out over my blooming hyacinths and count the empty floors I could see. Little pair of binoculars at the ready…

These firms shot themselves then they strangled themselves…. then they jumped. After they bled themselves dry of course.

26. Madman in the Marketplace - 27 April 2009

sad how shameless he is … Cramer is on Morning Joe mocking Krugman and Roubini, saying they should stay on the island with Maryanne (ha ha … they’re professors) and that they’re never right.

Wow, it’s pathetic.

marisacat - 27 April 2009

he really is a mess. He must be spedning his life pretending Jon Stewart never laid him open.

27. Intermittent Bystander - 27 April 2009

Next Case: State vs. Federal Power. Justices to Rule if U.S. Treasury Can Shield National Banks From New York Laws.

WASHINGTON — Four years ago, Eliot Spitzer, then the New York attorney general, asked several national banks to explain why they were disproportionately charging blacks and Hispanics high interest rates.

Instead of an answer, he got a lawsuit. The banks, and the Treasury Department agency that regulates them, persuaded federal courts to bar the state attorney general from enforcing New York antidiscrimination laws.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear New York’s appeal. If the state wins, it would mark a break with decades of precedent that mostly favors the powers of the federal government and open a new era for 50 state regulators to play a bigger role.


All 49 other states, plus the District of Columbia, joined a friend-of-the-court brief backing New York and its current attorney general, Andrew Cuomo.

“The states are broadly concerned about the erosion of state authority,” says Bob Cooper, a spokesman for the Idaho attorney general.

marisacat - 27 April 2009

Sorry IB, out now… apologies for how long it was stuck..


mattes - 27 April 2009

One reason I think there was a hit on Spitzer.

28. Intermittent Bystander - 27 April 2009

WSJ on NYS appeal to the US Supremes re bank regulations in the mod pod, I think.

29. NYCO - 27 April 2009

BBC’s “Have Your Say” continues to inform

I’m a specialist doctor in respiratory diseases and intensive care at the Mexican National Institute of Health. There is a severe emergency over the swine flu here. More and more patients are being admitted to the intensive care unit. Despite the heroic efforts of all staff (doctors, nurses, specialists, etc) patients continue to inevitably die. The truth is that anti-viral treatments and vaccines are not expected to have any effect, even at high doses. It is a great fear among the staff. The infection risk is very high among the doctors and health staff.

There is a sense of chaos in the other hospitals and we do not know what to do. Staff are starting to leave and many are opting to retire or apply for holidays. The truth is that mortality is even higher than what is being reported by the authorities, at least in the hospital where I work it. It is killing three to four patients daily, and it has been going on for more than three weeks. It is a shame and there is great fear here. Increasingly younger patients aged 20 to 30 years are dying before our helpless eyes and there is great sadness among health professionals here.
Antonio Chavez, Mexico City

I think there is a real lack of information and sadly, preventative action. In the capital of my state, Oaxaca, there is a hospital closed because of a death related to the porcine influenza. In the papers they recognise only two people dead for that cause. Many friends working in hospitals or related fields say that the situation is really bad, they are talking about 19 people dead in Oaxaca, including a doctor and a nurse. They say they got shots but they were told not to talk about the real situation. Our authorities say nothing. Life goes on as usual here.

Too much quoting of official sources on this stuff, not enough on-the-ground reporting.

marisacat - 27 April 2009

Too much quoting of official sources on this stuff, not enough on-the-ground reporting.


30. Intermittent Bystander - 27 April 2009

Crikey – also from the WSJ:

WASHINGTON — A low-flying commercial airplane escorted by military jets Monday morning sent workers worried about a repeat of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks fleeing their offices in the New York City area.

Fears quickly abated, however, when it became clear that the circling plane was part of a “photo op.”

The U.S. Defense Department is conducting a “photo op” that involves deploying two F-16 fighter jets escorting a Boeing 747 in the vicinity of Lower Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty, said Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Jim Peters.

At around 10 a.m. EDT, the plane was seen flying low over lower Manhattan and at one point was seen circling the Goldman Sachs Tower in nearby Jersey City, N.J. Several buildings in the area were evacuated although workers quickly returned after it became clear that the flyover was planned in advance. There were reports that employees in skyscrapers throughout the area fled without prompting as word spread.

Mr. Peters said the maneuver wasn’t an emergency and was coordinated in advance with the FAA and state and local officials.

“They’ll do two or three spins and be done by 10:30,” Mr. Peters said.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates bridges, tunnels and airports in the area, said they had no knowledge of the low-flying plane.

NYCO - 27 April 2009

I heard the plane was a replica of Air Force One or something.

How incredibly stupid.

Intermittent Bystander - 27 April 2009

I hope someone got some good video of skyscraper workers fleeing their buildings.

Circling the Goldman Sachs Tower in NJ was an especially poetic touch, no?

mattes - 27 April 2009


31. Intermittent Bystander - 27 April 2009

Photos and witness reactions at the NYT City Room blog.

32. NYCO - 27 April 2009

Mexican health officials having press conference now. 2,000 cases of “serious pneumonia,” more than 1,000 released from hospitals, mroe than 770 still hospitalized… (so…does that mean approximately 230 people have died?)

marisacat - 27 April 2009

This hit my in box just now…

The number of suspected deaths from swine flu in Mexico has risen to 149, the health ministry says, amid global concerns over the virus.

For more details: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news

But that first doctor from the BBC on the scene comments that you posted a couple days ago, said 200 (+) then. There were also comments from non medical that TV then was saying in Mexico, ”200” but that they were disbelieving, feeling it was higher…

Just heard an update on the radio for USA, they now admit to 40 cases in the USA! USA!

Mexico City just had an earthquake 5.8 on the Richter.

Anyone for re reading Camus?

marisacat - 27 April 2009

from a couple of hours ago, as I slept…

Twenty-five possible swine flu cases have been reported in the UK, of which 17 are still being investigated, the health secretary says.

For more details: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news

NYCO - 27 April 2009

Earthquake wasn’t epicentered in Mexico City, thank God. Closer to Acapulco.

That’s all Mexico (and the world) needs, millions of people too afraid to stay in their homes and a flu epidemic going on. Oy!

marisacat - 27 April 2009

Bloomberg now saying 45 cases in the Queens incident.

33. NYCO - 27 April 2009

Now they’re reporting a “strong” earthquake has just hit Mexico City. WTF?

NYCO - 27 April 2009

magnitude 5.8 to 6.0. What a disaster. Nobody will want to stay indoors in their homes now. Poor Mexico.

wu ming - 28 April 2009

it was in guerrero, a fair amount south of mexico city (145 miles), and a 5.8-6 is scary but isn’t end of the world stuff. the big mexico city quake in 1985 was an 8.1, by comparison. something like that would be horrifically bad right now.

34. marisacat - 27 April 2009

Not that it will be up to date, based ont eh BBC page…. but the front page of the NYT has swine flue info… EU has issued a travel adivory to the “US and or Mexico”… (that must chap some hides over here.)

Flu Advisory Unwarranted, C.D.C. Says

By DONALD G. McNEIL and ANAHAD O’CONNOR 35 minutes ago

The European Union health commissioner advised Europeans to postpone nonessential travel to the U.S. or Mexico, but the acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called the advisory unwarranted.


35. catnip - 27 April 2009

Bizarro pic of the day: looking for fevers

36. catnip - 27 April 2009

Love this pic.

37. marisacat - 27 April 2009

gnu post


………… 😯 …………..

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