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Solstice 24 December 2009

Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, 2010 Mid Terms, Border Issues, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter.

Enjoying a snowy sunset at Oostende beach in Belgium.    [Spiegel]

I realise I’m a couple of days off – 🙄 – but no pleasing shot of the sun showed up on time.

Looking over Democracy NOW!  I noticed this timely tidbit…

God rest ye merry gentlemen, let nothing you dismay!… Truly!

Report: ICE Runs Secret Immigrant Detention Sites in US

The Nation magazine is reporting the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency is holding undocumented immigrants in secret sites across the United States.

In addition to its publicly listed field offices and detention sites, ICE is confining people in 186 unlisted and unmarked subfield offices. Many of the offices are in suburban office parks or commercial spaces revealing no information about their ICE tenants.

In Los Angeles, ICE is holding immigrants in a barely converted storage space tucked away in a large downtown federal building.

During a conference last year, an ICE official, James Pendergraph, openly talked about ICE’s ability to disappear people. Pendergraph said, “If you don’t have enough evidence to charge someone criminally but you think he’s illegal, we can make him disappear.”

Meanwhile, The Nation magazine is also reporting ICE agents regularly impersonate civilians and rely on other illegal tricks in order to arrest longtime US residents who have no criminal history. ICE agents have posed as Occupational Safety and Health inspectors, insurance agents and even religious workers.

Joy to the World.  I doubt any of that will be changing anytime soon.

So…………. is it better when it is the same but just not BUSH?


UPDATE, 12:49 am on the Pacific Ocean

More joy to the world:

And what of the amendments supported by members of the Progressive Democratic Caucus, the supporters of single-payer (SP): John Conyers, Anthony Weiner, Dennis Kucinich, Bernie Sanders and Jan Schakowsky?

At every critical moment these politicians with vertebrae composed of Jello compromised, backed down and conceded. Their allegiance to the Democratic Party and to President Obama trumped everything. There was nothing they were not willing to compromise away, no constituency that couldn’t be thrown under the bus for the sake of passing a bill; most appallingly women and abortion rights. With the exception of Dennis Kucinich and Eric Massa, they all voted for the house bill that contained the Stupak Amendment. At a small protest in front of Jan Schakowsky’s home after the vote, she came out and told protesters she voted in favor of the Stupak Amendment because she knew it would be taken out of the Senate bill. She promised us it would be. As Schak strolled back into her opulent residence she protested, “I didn’t throw women under the bus.”   

The progressive Democrats sold out on single-payer early on when they backed the public option. This created enormous confusion: How could they advocate for both single-payer and the public option when the two are diametrically opposed? It didn’t take long before they all shilled almost exclusively for the public option. Schakowsky spoke at numerous HCAN meetings and rallies, never at single-payer events. Weiner was regularly interviewed by the press and focused the discussion on the public option, not single-payer.    

John Conyers, the lead sponsor of the single-payer bill H.R. 676, immediately endorsed the principles of Health Care for America Now (HCAN), an organization opposed to single-payer. When confronted by single-payer supporters at a Health Care Now! national conference, Conyers couldn’t explain the contradiction. Joel Segal, one of his staffers, became enraged and attempted to shut down the discussion. Soon after, Mr. Conyers became irrelevant to the movement for single-payer and a colossal embarrassment to it. It’s tragic, really. Conyers completely abandoned his magnificent legislation, H.R. 676: the only legislation that could transform health care from a commodity to an entitlement for all and solve the crisis. Instead of fighting for that legislation, he was holding briefings with Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee to discuss “Why the public option must be included to have true health reform.”

All of them in it together.


UPDATE, 4:54 am — on the Pacific Ocean………

Just made it to the end of the The Nation article (all of two pages…) and this is the close:

[A]n attorney who had a client held in a subfield office said on background, “The president released in January a memorandum about transparency, but that’s not happening. He says one thing, but we have these clandestine operations, akin to extraordinary renditions within the United States. They’re misguided as to what their true mission is, and they are doing things contrary to the best interests of the country.”

His feet are utterly elusive of the fire.



1. BooHooHooMan - 24 December 2009

CSPAN: “Victoria Kennedy in the Gallery”

Get ready to swim, folks.

Byrd in wheelchair, etc…

Jeezis. 😉 …
They now have Vicki passing around Teddy’s neckbrace from the Chappaquiddick presser like a relic….
God , from the picture, Vicki sure looks different from when she was a young blond, too..

BooHooHooMan - 24 December 2009

Cue FLOTUS to save Ob now…

BooHooHooMan - 24 December 2009

Roll call Sen Now…lets see if any flee the Cloture…
Biden in the Chair so….

BooHooHooMan - 24 December 2009

Lieb and Lincoln Aye..

2. BooHooHooMan - 24 December 2009

What a show.

I found this, which pretty much sums it up….

Reid refused to answer any questions about the upcoming conference, joking that he plans to go back to Searchlight, Nev., “and frankly, I’m just going to sit back and watch my rabbits eat my cactus.”

wu ming - 24 December 2009

would that he would, permanently.

marisacat - 24 December 2009

I had high hopes when the stroke hit a couple of years ago. Not that the Dems would put in anyone better.

3. marisacat - 24 December 2009

Breaking News from ABCNEWS.com:

Report: Cleric Tied to Fort Hood Shooter Killed in Yemen [03:38 a.m. ET]

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

BooHooHooMan - 24 December 2009

Good thing the DoJ and the WH downplayed his role as a material witness..no attack on Ob’s watch etc…
Good thing the DoJ released some statement the other week saying they weren’t pursuing the guy as a material witness to their investigation, either… no hum dinger doo, because Ob, like Gates and Panetta, would be opening themselves up for capital murder.

Time now for them to conflate Ft Hood as 911 and the killing of this guy as proxy for OBL.

Oh …and consolidating the tip of the Arabian peninsula.

Cue Djibouti / Somalia 3.0 ..

marisacat - 24 December 2009

I will say the mini Dem dumb Wurltizer was fucking stupid to spend days whining and hand wringing over his “obvious PTSD”.

One, imo they were wrong. And two, it was unbelievably stupid.

A shooter, end of story. As for the cleric, well we are in Yemen anyway. Shop til you drop!

4. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 December 2009

MSNBC reporting that SEIU is backing off on their criticism this morning.

BooHooHooMan - 24 December 2009

Stern…and what’s her name at SEIU…a prime example why the Unions are shit in this country. If we thought turf wars and inter-Labor accussations of poaching over representational turf was roaring before, we haven’t seen anything yet…

We are going to see a dramatic escalation of it as only the most docile /yet agile with spin/ and most importantly – loose with campaign cash are favored Admins through that thoroughly co-opted shell of what has become the NLRB….

I see DeMoro has a new amalgam , CNA picking up others to form National Nurses United (NNU) … DeMoro laminated in her seat since back in Bill daze, (1993) sure, membership and the dues paying rolls have gone up…Any other un-hyped change in the real world?

I see the New!™ NNU debuted with an announcement that they are ……”a proud member of “………….the AFL CIO.
To be blunt, it’s the same old caging game::
Carving up Christmas peas..

marisacat - 24 December 2009

Well she and her nurses did effectively campaign agaisnt Arnold, after being told to sit down shut up take the deal on the table by, my guess (I never heard her identify the union) Stern.

Brought him down 20 pts. But the problem is the deal here is … no game but the Dems. And the Dems support Arnold.

What a jke. A collaborator with the Bush Cheney energy games agaisnt Cali in 2000/01. If I had no other reason to leave the party, that alone is enough.

What a shame it all is.

marisacat - 24 December 2009

BTW, The Nation weak thing that it is… does have the 10 points from CNA on what a mess the new bill is. Or will be, in it’s much awaited final formulation:

3. An affordability mirage. Congressional Budget Office estimates say a family of four with a household income of $54,000 would be expected to pay 17 percent of their income, $9,000, on healthcare exposing too many families to grave financial risk.

4. The excise tax on comprehensive insurance plans which will encourage employers to reduce benefits, shift more costs to employees, promote proliferation of high-deductible plans, and lead to more self-rationing of care and medical bankruptcies, especially as more plans are subject to the tax every year due to the lack of adequate price controls. A Towers-Perrin survey in September found 30 percent of employers said they would reduce employment if their health costs go up, 86 percent said they’d pass the higher costs to their employees.

Back a few days ago when Howard said a couple things (then caved, first saying House bil was fine, then later saying Senate bill is Fine Too!, have to laugh!)
he let slip that a middle income earner of “70,000” could be paying 20K for ins. I assume for a “family of 4”.

[But obviously not a family that can vaca in a 9 mil house on the beach in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.]

More tidbits from the article (so predictable!)

· Insurers may continue to rescind policies for “fraud or intentional misrepresentation” – the main pretext insurance companies now use to cancel coverage.

You know in Cali we voted in a ban on “recission” the canceling of ins for pre existing conditions. MADE NO DIFFERENCE…

and DECADES ago we voted in caps on “pain and suffering” … made NO DIFFERENCE on premiums for docs. Who of course will NEVER adequately police themselves.


BooHooHooMan - 24 December 2009

It’s Bet Your Life…
now with whole new set of TBTF set of brokers.

5. marisacat - 24 December 2009

He’s going to speak. Knees! Hands in prayer!

(Then, as a nuclear, smiling, family, they will bolt for the plane and the 9 mil vaca house on the beach. Pecs in the wind! Gams in the sand, kids ON VIEW! In J Crew!)

BooHooHooMan - 24 December 2009

Place you bets.
How long before the snooty head thrown bank pose, the meant-as- thoughtful pause?

BooHooHooMan - 24 December 2009

There it is! 10 seconds! LOL.
What a fraud.

marisacat - 24 December 2009

As I said, speaking as fast as he can.

Then a mad dash for the plane. Mama Robinson! Grab the kids!

PS luv the stop for the trooooooooooooops.

6. marisacat - 24 December 2009


I was hunting for classic European christmas pics… and in a line up at Spiegle, there is this.

Too drpessing to use, but bang on.

7. marisacat - 24 December 2009

House on vaca til mid Jan… Senate on vaca til end of Jan………….

BooHooHooMan - 24 December 2009

I saw something floating around the R pinning hopes on the Feb MA special election for Dead Ted’s seats…..drag it out till then their naive rank and file were saying,,,,

If they go that route ( I doubt it, don’t know, hardly care ) would be quite the donation milking scam on both sides..And if by chance the R would win, Snowe would miraculously cross lines ( Again!) to pass the windfall in the final vote to approve the conference report.

I have to say this whole process – start to finish – has been about the clearest illustration of Donklephant Duopoly there is….

I heard that putz Ron Brownstein aping the Histrionic yada nature of the HCR Vote..Said we now have “almost a Parliament where the forces have to vote in large blocks to get anything done”.
Some Shite. What an asswipe.

Ah well.. Merry merry….I’m out.

marisacat - 24 December 2009

He needs it by State of the Union. Otherwise it’s gonna be Lily Ledbetter and the diluted joys of being pulled back from Depression 2.0…. tho imo it is still on the horizon.

Foundling needs HC…

8. marisacat - 24 December 2009

Everybody stand and applaud!!

Paul Street in BAR… and a joy to behold! Our Foundling, our Peace Prize on the hoof! Dry! Wonkish! and the worst of all, hiding behind the CONSTITUTION.

[…] two weeks after the Obamas’ IOC shenanigans and the Derrion Albert tragedy. That’s when Obama made his first presidential visit to New Orleans, site of tropical storm and societal disaster Katrina – the August 2005 hurricane and federal fiasco that left tens of thousands of disproportionately black and poor inner-city residents trapped in deadly floodwaters and penned up at the Superdome. Seeking to deflect criticism claiming that he had not paid sufficient attention to the city and the broader Mississippi Delta region, Obama enjoyed overwhelming initial applause at a town hall.

But the event’s happy feeling was interrupted when a local black resident asked a reasonable question:

“Why is it four years after Katrina, we’re still fighting for money to repair our devastated city? “I expected as much from the Bush administration,” the questioner added: “But why are we still being nickeled and dimed?”

“Not Going to Be Fixed Tomorrow”

Obama’s response was less than impressive. It waxed dry, wonkish and technocratic as he referred to “complications between the state, the city, and the feds in making assessments of the damages.”[7]According to The New York Times:

“The president, in a rare moment on the defensive in a format that is usually friendly to him, said many people in New Orleans were ‘understandably impatient’ and said he had inherited a backlog of problems.

“’These things were not going to be fixed tomorrow,’ Mr. Obama said. ‘So we are working as hard as we can, as quickly as we can.’ He added, ‘I wish I could just write a check.’

“When some shouted ‘Why not?’ Mr. Obama replied, ‘There’s this whole thing about the Constitution.’

“He added that ‘We’ve got to go through procedures.’”[8]

Surely many in the town hall were well aware that the new president, the Democratic-majority Congress, and their constitutionally-encoded “procedures” had managed to quickly grant trillions of taxpayer dollars to the nation’s predominantly white financial barons and to the Pentagon and thus to the nation’s powerful “defense” contractors. Some most certainly reflected on the fact that Obama, the U.S. House, and the U.S. Senate were spending vast federal resources on overseas wars of occupation while black ghettos, Latino barrios and working class communities of all races and ethnicities deteriorated across the imperial “homeland.”

9. marisacat - 24 December 2009

If anyone wants to bag (and shoot to kill) the Grinch of Xmas… be on the look out here in Cali tomorrow.

The Air Quality Board, or whatever they call themselves… are almost ready to decide to make tomorrow, Christmas Day, a “spare the air day” and THUS ban all wood burning stove or fireplace use. With any kind of log. Wood or duraflame…

First catch is a warning.. second is a 400 dollar fine. AND neighbors are encouraged to snitch.

We are blessed unto death out here.

10. marisacat - 24 December 2009

A woman jumped the barrier at Midnight Mass at the Vatican… and hit her mark.

She knocked down Benny.

Where was god? Away? At the punch bowl? IN the punch bowl?

Madman in the Marketplace - 24 December 2009

diddling a nephilim?

marisacat - 24 December 2009

There you go! That is what Gawd was doing. A diddle.

11. Heather-Rose Ryan - 24 December 2009

LOL, I was just going to email you that pope story, MCat – I knew you would enjoy it 🙂 The lady knocked down a cardinal too. Good for her.

Merry Christmas/Yule to all and to all a good night!

marisacat - 24 December 2009

wasn’t it just too wonderful?

And all the mumbles over the recent days that they moved “midnight” to 10PM as our beloved crackpot in the baby clothing is “getting old”.

marisacat - 24 December 2009

a cardinal too? She should do Catholic Bowling!

Madman in the Marketplace - 24 December 2009

I wonder if the cardinal got taken out by the pope’s hat bouncing off the side and coming back across the lane?

marisacat - 24 December 2009

Cross action from Ganzie is my guess.

Madman in the Marketplace - 24 December 2009

should have gotten Versace to put non-slip soles on his ruby slippers.

marisacat - 24 December 2009

he’d probably rather fair, pink cheeked, blond cherubini from the veneto… holding him tight.

12. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 December 2009


McCook’s city fathers managed to avoid getting scorched by the political firestorm swirling around the community’s favorite son.

It took some explaining to constituents who were upset about the way their hometown hero — Sen. Ben Nelson, a Democrat — voted Monday to cast the crucial 60th vote in the health care debate in the Senate.

Nelson’s vote happened to come on the same day that the McCook City Council voted to tweak the timing of sending payments to a sculptor for work on a bronze statue of Nelson.

Life-size bronzes depicting a teenage Nelson receiving his Boy Scout Eagle rank from his parents will be erected on the grounds of Nelson’s vacant boyhood home.

The sculpture project is a gift from the McCook Foundation via the Nebraska Community Foundation.

The city acts as a pass-through agency for the funds. The agreement approved this week allows a $4,000 payment each time one of the three bronze figures is cast, instead of a $12,000 lump sum.

“We felt we needed to stress that this sculpture project was started long before Senator Nelson exercised his voting privileges (on health care) as a senator and had nothing whatsoever to do with the current situation,” Calvin said.

“It was a donation to the community. It stresses small-town life, the Boy Scouts and what you can accomplish with your life.”

The Nelson sculpture will be titled “On my honor.”

marisacat - 24 December 2009

It cannot be worse than the statue erected to Barry in Indonesia… him as a 10 year old contemplating a flutterby on his extended hand. A young Gandhi. No less. A budding St Francis….

Bow down.

Madman in the Marketplace - 24 December 2009

that one is funny as hell, too.

Someone save us from “great” men.

marisacat - 24 December 2009

They all seem to need that damned cherry tree story.

“on my honor”, my ass.

Heather-Rose Ryan - 24 December 2009

Oh the best of all time is the “Apotheosis of Washington” fresco on the ceiling of the Capitol Rotunda:


it’s a howl.

One can only imagine what Washington, that old Deist, would have thought of it.

13. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 December 2009
14. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 December 2009

Insanity Offense: Even the Mad Must Not Speak the Truth

The doctors, who asked why the woman was accompanied by a guard, were shocked to learn that she was a Mossad agent and that the security guard was not assigned to her in order assure her safety or protect her life, but to ensure that she not reveal any state secrets in her shaky mental state.

The Mossad guard’s orders were clear: “It is forbidden that the organization’s secrets be passed on to those unauthorized to hear them.” The doctors, who are unaccustomed to the presence of a third party during their treatment sessions, were left with no choice but to acquiesce to their demands. In addition, the staff had to receive a security clearance before being allowed to work on her exceptional case.

15. marisacat - 24 December 2009

hmm I finally just saw a clip of Benny going down. Wow she went right at him, in front and it looked like she pulled him down.

And over he went………….. CBS had chatter that it is “thought he had another stroke just before becoming il Papa. what dish! And… he only meets with small group of close advisors.

Crank up the conspiracy theories.

Madman in the Marketplace - 24 December 2009

they keep saying that she appears to be “mentally imbalanced”. How can you tell in a gilded palace full of religious fanatics eager to listen to the prattling of an old Nazi telling the mythical story of the child of a rapist god and a virgin who cuckolded her husband, all under the auspices of an obscenely rich organization that claims to serve the poor while it shelters pederasts?

Define “mentally imbalanced” in THAT environment.

marisacat - 24 December 2009

Interestingly apparently there was one last year too… a woman who made it past the barrier, but security deflected her before her grubby human hands reached the pontiff. What a relief.

And let’s not forget Berlusconi being smacked around by a metal statue fo the Milan cathedral.

Madman in the Marketplace - 24 December 2009

there seems to be a lot of tension building up there.

catnip - 24 December 2009

Define “mentally imbalanced” in THAT environment.


16. catnip - 24 December 2009

Holy Splitting Hairs, Batman: Vatican Defends Status of WWII Pope

ROME — In an effort to calm growing tensions with Jewish groups, the Vatican said Wednesday that Pope Benedict XVI’s decision moving the wartime pope Pius XII closer to sainthood was not a “hostile act” against those who believe Pius did not do enough to stop the Holocaust.

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, issued a statement saying that the beatification process evaluated the “Christian life” of Pius, who reigned from 1939 to 1958, and not “the historical impact of all his operative decisions.”

Pay no attention to the Pope© behind Hitler.

Madman in the Marketplace - 24 December 2009

well, they cover up massive organized recurrent child abuse, what’s a little genocide?

marisacat - 24 December 2009

I read the Jews are none too happy that Pope Pius XII is being greased and sped to sainthood. Somehow I don’t think what the Vatican “says” is gonna cut it…

Madman in the Marketplace - 24 December 2009

Pius was guilty of looking the other way in the face of massive evil. Not that this has ever stopped the Catholics from elevating somebody.

17. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 December 2009


The schtick here is all about painting the opponents of military intervention as cynics who lack moral confidence, perhaps because they lack the backbone of Christian belief. Take this passage:

[Obama] said he was not against war per se, just this one, and he was booed by the crowd. In 2007, he spoke about the way Niebuhr formed his thinking: “I take away the compelling idea that there’s serious evil in the world and hardship and pain. And we should be humble and modest in our belief we can eliminate those things. But we shouldn’t use that as an excuse for cynicism and inaction.”

What’s most disgusting about Brooks is that he has it backwards. “Cynicism” is invading a country for the sorts of reasons that have guided the United States in most of their interventionist actions since World War II. There is a American kid in Afghanistan who is going to die tomorrow because Rahm Emanuel doesn’t want his boss to have to answer toughness questions from somebody like Brian Williams in a 2012 electoral debate. And I’m the cynic here?

Brooks is a perfect example of the kind of spineless Beltway geek we always see beating the war drum at times like these. It’s because nebbishly little dorks like Brooks and Paul Wolfowitz and David Frum got their books dumped in high school that we end up dropping daisy cutters on Afghan sheep herds and shipping working class American kids halfway around the world to get their nuts blown off. That sounds like a simplistic explanation, but anyone who doesn’t have a keen ear for the pencil-pusher’s eternal quest for macho cred is going to have a hard time understanding Washington politics. Brooks’s columns have always been the easiest way to take the pulse of that particular dynamic, and it sure seems now that bureaucratic momentum for intervention and more intervention is re-inflating the chests of these Beltway generals.

Anyway, I almost can’t wait to see where this goes. Is the world ready for “Barack Obama, Christian Warrior?”

marisacat - 24 December 2009

There is a American kid in Afghanistan who is going to die tomorrow because Rahm Emanuel doesn’t want his boss to have to answer toughness questions from somebody like Brian Williams in a 2012 electoral debate. And I’m the cynic here?

The nightly tally at the close of The News Hour was bad tonight. 10, most from Iraq. Sargeants, Staff Sargeants, Technical Sargeants, men from 28 to 35… only a couple “PFCs”.

18. BooHooHooMan - 25 December 2009

LOL. Papal Wrastlin.

Well. Communion rail hurdling and wrestling is actually an old old
Catholic tradition. Practiced with remarkable skill, by necessity,
among the less than fleet-footed who didn’t make the track team..

BooHooHooMan - 25 December 2009

So obvious they are moving to contain the story

marisacat - 25 December 2009

NOW they say she is a “Swiss Italian national with psychiatric problems”

HA! Obviously she is a relic of the reformation!

19. marisacat - 25 December 2009

gnu thred……………….


🙄 … 😆

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