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Sunday 8 August 2010

Posted by marisacat in DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, The Battle for New Orleans.

A leopard cub sleeps on a water bowl in its air-conditioned cage on a warm summer day, at Shanghai Zoo

A leopard cub sleeps on a water bowl in its air-conditioned cage on a warm summer day, at Shanghai Zoo      [AP]

Jerry Cope, with whom I am not familiar, has an interview, text and vids, up at HuffPo, with Riki Ott, the marine biologist, Exxon Valdez clean-up worker who has been in the Gulf for weeks…

It’s a litany of horror:   What if anything, do we know… It’s still an immense experiment we have been forced into.

Riki Ott: Well I have been down in the Gulf since May 3rd. It’s pretty consistent what I have heard. First I heard from the offshore workers and the boat captains that were coming in and they would see windrows of dead things piled up on the barrier islands; turtles and birds and dolphins… whales…

JC: Whales?

RO: And whales. There would be stories from boat captains of offshore, we started calling death gyres, where the rips all the different currents sweep the oceans surface, that would be the collection points for hundreds of dolphins and sea turtles and birds and even whales floating. So we got four different times latitudes/longitude coordinates where (this was happening) but by the time we got to these lat/longs which is always a couple of days later there was nothing there. There was boom put around these areas to collect the animals and we know this happened at Exxon Valdez too. The rips are where the dead things collect. We also know from Exxon Valdez that only 1% in our case of the carcasses that floated off to sea actually made landfall in the Gulf of Alaska. I don’t believe there have been any carcass drift studies down here that would give us some indication that when something does wash up on the beach what percentage it is of the whole. But we know that offshore there was an attempt by BP and the government to keep the animals from coming onshore in great numbers. The excuse was this was a health problem — we don’t want to create a health hazard. That would only be a good excuse if they kept tallies of all the numbers because all the numbers – all the animals – are evidence for federal court. We the people own these animals and they become evidence for damages to charge for BP.

In Exxon Valdez the carcasses were kept under triple lock and key security until the natural resource damage assessment study was completed and that was 2 1/2 years after the spill. Then all the animals were burned but not until then.

So people offshore were reporting this first and then carcasses started making it onshore. Then I started hearing from people in Alabama a lot and the western half of Florida – a little bit in Mississippi – but mostly what was going on then there was an attempt to keep people off the beaches, cameras off the beaches. I was literally flying in a plane and the FAA boundary changed. It was offshore first with the barrier islands and all of a sudden it just hopped right to shore to Alabama that’s where we were flying over and the pilot was just like – he couldn’t believe it – he was like look at that and I didn’t know what he was looking but then he points at the little red line which had all of sudden grown and he just looked at me and said the only reason that they have done this is so people can’t see what is going on. And what that little red line meant was no cameras on shore and three days later the oil came onshore and the carcasses came onshore into Alabama.

I love this idea pushed by some media, BP and the gubmint that masses of oil and dispersant (“no more poisonous than Dawn dish soap!”) can spew for months and there not be death and destruction.

Cope, described as an environmental activisit, has also appeared on Democracy NOW!

AMY GOODMAN: … What happened, do you believe, to the animals in the Gulf, to the marine life?

JERRY COPE: Well, there were two dramatic sequences that were described by workers that were out at the source, which is what they called the Canyon 252 site where this incident occurred. And they reported seeing, just as far as the eye could see, dead carcasses of all kinds of marine life out near the source. And then there was also—we heard numerous accounts of a large wave of marine life being pushed into shore as the dispersant and the oil, the first wave, came in and approached towards the end of June. And then, all of a sudden, it was simply gone. All of these animals disappeared. They didn’t show up in the lagoons in any large numbers. And everyone—all the scientists were questioning, where did they go?

I spoke to Hal Whitehead, who studied extensively sperm whales, specifically, the ones down in the Gulf of Mexico, and there was an unusual pod that was resident in the area of the Mississippi Canyon site, and they’ve also disappeared, the entire pod. And that was an unusual social structure there in that those particular sperm whales were not terribly nomadic. They seemed to stay there, as well as the usual whales that moved in and out with the population.



1. marisacat - 8 August 2010

Madman tag end of the last thread….

Verizon, Google and the Woody Allen problem

WHY, exactly, does America have regulators? The idea is that regulatory agencies are better able than legislatures to keep up with innovation. Regulators, in theory, are more expert than politicians, and less passionate. In reality they are imperfect (as is all of government, and for that matter, all of life) but that we have any regulators at all is a testament, on some basic level, to the idea that companies left to their own devices don’t always act in the best interests of the market.

Yesterday afternoon the FCC announced that negotiations with several large companies over proposed internet-service regulatory changes had broken down. Also yesterday, the New York Times wrote of the possibility of a deal between Google and Verizon to allow Verizon to charge for faster service over its network. This would be a clear violation of the single, limited goal of the FCC’s proposed changes. Let’s leave aside for a second the question of just how terrible of an idea this is, and just how likely it is to throttle innovation by small actors on the web as it prioritises the work of better-capitalised companies. Let’s focus instead on a more basic question: why does America have regulators?

If companies always agreed with regulators’ rules, there would be no need for regulators. The very point of a regulator is to do things that companies don’t like, out of concern for the welfare of the market or the consumer. In its Brand X decision in 2005, the Supreme Court upheld this discretionary power, arguing that it’s better to give wide latitude to the expert opinion of a regulatory body. But in that case, the FCC had decided on a light touch with internet service providers. And back then, most ISPs agreed that the FCC had the authority to decide to regulate them lightly.

2. Madman in the Marketplace - 8 August 2010
marisacat - 8 August 2010

He has been so destructive. And Bill C and Hillary AND Larry Summers and all the nasty little technocrats, which would include Elena Kagan as well, that they dragged along with them. The weird creeps Reich and Sperling too.

Reich only rails at Obby The Great as he is a Clinton adherent.

I am delighted to have Clinton “derangement disorder” or whatever they call it..

Madman in the Marketplace - 8 August 2010

If/when Barry loses in 2012, his slavish worshipers need to face that it was his alliance with this bunch of Wall St. toadies that screwed them over.

Not that they will … they’ll blame Nader and dirty hippies.

marisacat - 8 August 2010

oh I think Racism will be blamed. Because discrimination against Obby and Obby Consort is the only racism that matters.

Nader seems to have denuded himself of whatever balls he once had.

I half expected him to be present at the Buffett party of Big Money Idiots who pretend to donate, last week or whevever, going arund with chilled finger bowls of water, a lemon sqeeze onto the hot steamed towels.

We would nto want the dirt on their hands to show.

Madman in the Marketplace - 8 August 2010

sad to see what Nader has sunk to with that toadying to the robber barons.

marisacat - 8 August 2010

I really thnk the plan is nothing shortof active, full, destabilisation. This cutting people off at 99 weeks of unemployment is horrifying.

And withholding COLA from SS and disabled on SS (that would be me!) should be a warning to people. It may be cruel, but more importantly it removes money that simply would go into circulation. INto the economy.

3. Madman in the Marketplace - 8 August 2010

Armanpour isn’t half bad this morning. Decent report & interview on suicides in the military, after being fairly aggressive with Odierno on how Iraq isn’t going as great as they say it is.

AMANPOUR: I’ve heard that perhaps you have a shortfall of hundreds of people who can actually provide this kind of help.

CHIARELLI: Well, we do have a shortage. And if you want to get at stigma, you start with the brigade commander, brigade command sergeant major and work right down the chain of command so every soldier sees his leader going through the same checks that the soldier’s going to go through.

AMANPOUR: I want to also have you listen to a young soldier in — on the battlefield. Listen to this little clip for a moment. (BEGIN CLIP)

MALE: You can’t get a better high. It’s like crack, you know? You can skydive or bungee jump or do kayak, what? Once you’ve been shot at, you really can’t come down. There’s nothing — you can’t top that.

QUESTION: Are you going to go back to the civilian world then?

MALE: I have no idea. (END CLIP)

AMANPOUR: There it is.

CHIARELLI: Well, that’s the kind of individual — that individual needs that help that we’ve got to convince to get that help. And we’ve got to get leadership to be attuned to those kind of reactions.

Jeebus … it’s what you’ve TRAINED them to think … it’s how they HAVE to think to survive. NO ONE wants to admit that.

AMANPOUR: What can leadership say to young soldiers, young servicemen and women who find themselves at the front and who have that reaction that there’s no bigger high, that we cannot cope with civilian life once we come back?

CHIARELLI: Leaders need to lead, to know their soldiers, to look for those signs that they see that PFC. Chiarelli has changed. PFC. Chiarelli is going out and maybe drinking a little bit too much, showing up for work late, whatever it might be.

AMANPOUR: And just so that it’s clear, it’s not just suicides we’re talking about, we’re talking about crime, we’re talking about rape, we’re talking about addiction and dependence. And for instance, one of the statements in the report, as we continue to wage war on several fronts, data would suggest we’re becoming more dependent on pharmaceuticals to sustain the force. In fact, anecdotal information suggests that the force is becoming increasingly dependent on both legal and illegal drugs. I mean, that’s terrifying.

CHIARELLI: That’s a concern. We know that we had over 106,00 soldiers last year who had a prescription of three weeks or more for some kind of antidepressant, anti-anxiety medicine.

AMANPOUR: Because I mean it sort of raises the specter of a significant number of people out there heavily armed, afraid, under fire, IEDs and drugs are sort of the motivating —

CHIARELLI: But but, we know that the drugs that we’re talking about are cleared by the CENTCOM surgeon for soldiers to be taking when they’re downrange. So we’re not sending any soldier into harm’s way who is taking a drug that we feel would somehow endanger him or others.

Oh, and coming up … a panel with no George Will or Cokie Roberts or Sam Donaldson. Sadly, one of the lipless wonder “editors” who picks which press releases to post from Politico is on. George Packer from the New Yorker, A reporter from the Financial Times I’m not familiar with and Michael Gerson (blech).

marisacat - 8 August 2010

the Chiarelli part is just starting now…. but while I watched the clips from Frontline, esp on the murder rate for one brigade or battalion (100 x the norm) what I think is

Preamble to a draft. The Boys are sufferin’ we all gotta help.

I still oppose a draft, however they meander to calling for one.

Madman in the Marketplace - 8 August 2010

oh, agreed.

marisacat - 8 August 2010

Even if they were to reinstate a draft the outcry for exceptions and deferments would be loud enough, they would be codified. Many people pushing a draft are careful to say, BUT ALL SHOULD GO, there should nto be the loopholes of Vietnam.

But that will never be…..

Madman in the Marketplace - 8 August 2010

and no one seems to want to take seriously the real solution … quit launching imperial wars.

marisacat - 8 August 2010

well I loved the truly awful Chiarelli, hardly credible when he talked of wanting 12 months in combat and up to 36 months “home”. There is no plan but the plan for War.

It created a firestorm when I mentioned it over at Booboo’s plantation… but I was very interested to learn that int he waning days of the war on Algeria, de Gaulle had the combat troops, the ones doing hand to hand combat and counterinsurgency, 16,000 of that sort, their names and particulars were leaked, so they would b taken out by the Algerian fighters. (It was in the Polk and McGovern book of a few years ago, offering ways and ideas on how to end Iraq War)

France did not want them back home after that sort of duty. Miltaries and leaders know what they are hatching. It is hardly new.

Madman in the Marketplace - 8 August 2010

The constant lying that they DON’T know what they’re doing is disgusting.

She pushed him more than I expected … and I appreciated that the idea that living w/ violence is a kind of addiction, a “high”, and idea that cable news doesn’t like to let anybody float.

marisacat - 8 August 2010

Somehow or other I saw that interview she snipped from, the young guy in the field who spoke so bluntly of the high… It mayhave aired on ABC originally.

At this point if we were to truly – really and truly – draw down in Afhganistan, Iraq, immedate proximate areas, I would assume we were ramping up in East Africa, other parts of Africa, Yemen, and parts of SE Asia. Or the waters off Korea. S America.

The wars will go on, seems to be the only truth.

CSTAR - 8 August 2010

It is paradoxical, but waging war seems to have become an existential requirement of the United States. What it is even more paradoxical, is that there isn’t even a requirement that these existentially necessary wars be won, or be winnable or be within any economic budget constraint. Too much has become reliant on this cycle.

4. Madman in the Marketplace - 8 August 2010
5. ms_xeno - 8 August 2010

On a lighter note (and kind of relating to the main pic…

…even the BIG CATS can’t “Just Say ‘No.'”


catnip - 8 August 2010

OUCH. Damn.

I did not have sexual relations with that tiger.

6. Madman in the Marketplace - 8 August 2010
marisacat - 8 August 2010

they need help, this is ridiculous.

7. marisacat - 8 August 2010

hmmm… there is spin tonight that the medical team killed in Afghanistan may have fallen afoul of bandits…. however I remembered the Christians, an aid effort, expelled shortly before (iirc) the start of our lovely enterprise…

wandering around found this from the Guardian

Karen Woo travelled to the remote Nuristan region of northern Afghanistan with hopes of making a difference, with undimmed passion to help others, and with no little trepidation for the physical and mental challenges ahead. One thing she would not have travelled with was a Bible.

Of that her grieving family are convinced. Mourning the loss of a vivacious daughter and sister who “combined brains and beauty, intelligence, drive and kookiness in equal measure” they spoke of an exceptional young woman, a humanist whose motivation was purely humanitarian, but who had no religious or political agenda.

Yet, as further details emerged of the execution of the young British surgeon and nine others from a medical team in this beautiful but increasingly lawless mountain region, the fact she was with an overtly Christian organisation cannot be dismissed as insignificant.

Throughout Afghanistan, the International Assistance Mission (IAM), an umbrella organisation representing Christian agencies, is associated – rightly or wrongly – with claims of proselytizing.

Though long established in Afghanistan, after operating in the country since 1966, it was to find itself targeted by the Taliban regime in 2001, its workers expelled at gunpoint, its offices in Kabul shut. Tom Little, from New York and the team leader of this ill-fated expedition to provide eye care to the almost inaccessible villages of Nuristan, was among those expelled. Others were put on trial, and faced the death penalty accused of trying to convert Muslims, though they were eventually also deported.

8. Madman in the Marketplace - 8 August 2010

Pat Tillman’s mother on Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal: I told you so

After McChrystal was forced to step down in June, I was contacted by several reporters and asked to give my thoughts about McChrystal, but I declined to comment. I hadn’t read the piece in its entirety, so it seemed inappropriate to respond. Now, though, I have read and thought about the article. Obama clearly had no choice but to relieve McChrystal of his command. But how sad that the president and Congress didn’t properly scrutinize the general a year ago.

People have asked, “Why is Pat so special that so much attention is given to his death”? I understand that question. Thousands of soldiers and Marines have died in Iraq and Afghanistan. Many of their families have also been lied to, yet those deaths have not received the attention Pat’s did. And Pat’s death continues to be in the news.

Pat’s story initially became news because he was well known for having played in the NFL. The government used his fame to create propaganda for the war. Pat is not more important or special than any of the others who have fought in these wars, but the truth of what happened to Pat — and to every soldier who has died — is important. The truth shines a light on systematic corruption, incompetence and lack of accountability in the military and in government.

Over the last five years, the Pentagon and Congress have had numerous opportunities to hold accountable those responsible for the coverup of Pat’s death. Each time they’ve failed. The government didn’t just lie to us; it lied to a nation.

marisacat - 8 August 2010

well lots of peoplebelieve Tillman was murdered, that it was not “friendly fire”… and that it may have been because he was an atheist, and increasingly against the wars, as I understand it.

It’s not going to go away, esp now that McChrystal is so exposed as a nasty snarky bullshitter drunken (I know they say just his men were drunk at Kitty O Shea’s in Paris…. but gee!) “leader”.

I read somehwere that every single ex pretzel said McChrystal “had to go” Gee, poor Obby. Needs back up.

We are so fucking screwed.

9. marisacat - 8 August 2010

hahahah… they all run on family and religion, guns, crime and whatever else is up that cycle… but it s all about “bag drag”… farhter down in the article it is called “sack dragging”.

AUSTIN — President Barack Obama arrives in Texas today for what political professionals call a “bag drag.”

The term refers to his main purpose for being in the Lone Star state: raising money for the Democratic National Committee at a luncheon in Austin and for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in Dallas.


“If they’d invest this money in Texas, we’d be a blue (Democratic) state,” said long-time party consultant Glenn Smith. “They (national party leaders) come down here and drag the sack and spend the money on themselves.” …

😆 farther down in the article they skewer the R as well, for the same reasons, collect but no redistribution.

10. marisacat - 9 August 2010

hmm sounds of scraping the bottom of the barrel:


“Democratic Party Chairman Tim Kaine [says ]critics of [the first lady’s] travels are trying to politicize the issue. Kaine tells NBC’s ‘Today’ show he thinks ‘it’s wrong’ to talk critically about her trips. … ‘She’s a mom.’ He said this was an opportunity for her to take nine-year-old daughter Sasha to a part of the world she hadn’t seen before. Kaine said President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama are ‘focused on being good parents.'”

For the children…………….. 😆

ts - 9 August 2010

Because being good parents requires a trip to Spain.

GMAFB, 15 million people can’t even afford gas for their car to take them down to the supermarket. They’re telling their kids there won’t be any new toys for awhile, and learning to sew up their clothes.

They’re really relying on the fear of Tea Partiers to keep them from getting creamed in November. But the more they pull tone deaf crap like this, the more of their base won’t show up to counteract people who believe the guy is the Antichrist.

I’m going to take the day off so I can dance on their graves from polls open to close. Oh, and Tim, the first one thrown under the bus is going to be the Party Chairman. Smoke em while you got em Virginia Slim.

marisacat - 9 August 2010

Poor Tim, such a nobody.

I really think it was purposeful. They want and NEED to lose as many seats as possible.

I’d give it a pass, if they’d stop lecturing. From race to food to belt tightening, from vegetating the vegies to “we all wear J Crew”, to light bulb screwing in… and so on.

Late today came the story of hr friend in mourning and needed a break (so 😆 we bought the friend a AF One vaca?). hmmm … nobody told the few hung out to dry defending this silliness?

ts - 9 August 2010

Well, they’re not going to stop losing seats in 2010. They’re gonna lose more seats and possibly the Presidency in 2012. Then they’re gonna lose even more seats in 2014 when the insurance mandate kicks in. Then they’ll be out of both houses and the Presidency by 2016 if not sooner. It’s not an avalanche they can control.

marisacat - 9 August 2010

oh I agree… these are not people who invite confidence nor kindness.

I really don’t think he nor Michelle, Mother of Us All, really want the WH in 2012. I rather suspect they are already planning the Pretzel Library for the UoChicago…

And they have a handy whining exit story, it was all about Racism. Americans, too few, ever really accepted them. They tried so hard… yadayada.

11. Madman in the Marketplace - 9 August 2010

“Police Officers Don’t Check Their Civil Rights at the Station House Door”

Finally, I spoke with Jim Pasco, executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police. Pasco, who supports these arrests, says he’s worried that video could be manipulated to make police officers look bad. “There’s no chain of custody with these videos,” Pasco says. “How do you know the video hasn’t been edited? How do we know what’s in the video hasn’t been taken out of context? With dashboard cameras or police security video, the evidence is in the hands of law enforcement the entire time, so it’s admissible under the rules of evidence. That’s not the case with these cell phone videos.”

But what about cases where video clearly contradicts police reports, such as the McKenna case in College Park?

“You have 960,000 police officers in this country, and millions of contacts between those officers and citizens. I’ll bet you can’t name 10 incidents where a citizen video has shown a police officer to have lied on a police report,” Pasco says. “Letting people record police officers is an extreme and intrusive response to a problem that’s so rare it might as well not exist. It would be like saying we should do away with DNA evidence because there’s a one in a billion chance that it could be wrong. At some point, we have to put some faith and trust in our authority figures.”

Whether citizen video should be admitted as evidence (and it would seem to be pretty easy to discern if a video has been altered) is a different question from whether citizens should be arrested and sent to prison for recording cops. I mention Michael Allison’s case to Pasco, and ask if he supports the Illinois law.

“I don’t know anything about that case, but generally it sounds like a sensible law and a sensible punishment,” Pasco says. “Police officers don’t check their civil rights at the station house door.”

We’re at the mercy of authoritarian wackjobs.

marisacat - 9 August 2010

There shouldn’t be any issue then, don’t make it illegal to film or photograph police. End of story.

As we now know they are Civil Libertarians, all the time.


BooHooHooMan - 9 August 2010

F.O.P’s Pasco…
“At some point, we have to put some faith and trust in our authority figures.”

Spoken like a true Catholic. Coulda been a Priest.
Sadism, secrecy AND embroidery. About it for MOST of them, IMO.

marisacat - 9 August 2010

Spoken like a true Catholic

Respect. Civility. ShutUpedNess.

Madman in the Marketplace - 9 August 2010

Priest, cop … bullies demanding submission, either way.

BooHooHooMan - 9 August 2010

conflicted submissives demanding submission…a helluva mix that kind of enculturation when plied with weapons, political power, money etc..

12. marisacat - 10 August 2010



…………………….. 8)

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