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    • Spring of a Down, by Stirling Newberry, Chapters 1-3
      я знаю місце1 (Read the Prolog) She looked out over the land coming spring. Rather than domes and spires of Kyiv, here there were roofs to keep the hearth warm. But was forward to the eye was the fuzziness of the trees because the buds were forming across a flat plain. Life bloomed, over and above the plains north of the capital the river flow in.2 She turns […]
  • Top Posts

And now, A MidMorning News Break

Can they do this? And would the Senate care if they did? Would ANYONE care?

13 state AGs threaten suit over health care deal
Republican attorneys general in 13 states say congressional leaders must remove Nebraska’s political deal from the federal health care reform bill or face legal action, according to a letter provided to The Associated Press Wednesday.


There were a couple of interesting stories over at TruthOut:

America the Traumatized: How 13 Events of the Decade Made Us the PTSD Nation

The Millennial Decade screwed with our heads and destroyed our national identity. Are we in for a cataclysmic century?

And:

Why Obama Must Continue Releasing Yemenis From Guantánamo

. . . in this final article I look at the stories of the six Yemenis who were also released. These releases were enormously important because Yemenis make up nearly half of the remaining 198 prisoners in Guantánamo, and until these six men were repatriated, only 16 Yemenis had been freed from Guantánamo throughout the prison’s long history.


Feminomics: Top Five Heroines of Financial Reform

Women are leading the charge on financial reform. In the spirit of celebrating their contributions, here are the top five heroes of 2009.


Lying Your Way Into War? Apparently Not a Scandal

Not mentioned? The Bush administration lying its way into a war of choice, listening in on the phone conversations of Americans, torture, Abu Ghraib, putting an unqualified crony in charge of FEMA, the US Attorneys firing, outing a CIA operative to get back at her husband, etc.


Well, I wasn’t going to do it but here’s an underwear story:

The Global War on Stealth Underwear

There is no “war” against terrorism. What George W. Bush launched and Barack Obama insists on perpetuating does not qualify. Not if by war one means doing the obvious and checking a highly suspicious air traveler’s underwear to see if explosives have been sewn in. If Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab had put the stuff in his shoes we would have had him because that was tried before, but our government was too preoccupied with fighting unnecessary conventional wars and developing anti-missile defense systems to anticipate such a primitive delivery system.


And I’ll end on a story that was the highlight of my year…. CCSVI (Chronic cerebro-spinal venous insufficiency) is one of the medical highlights of the year. In fact I’d say, the developing story of a possible cause of MS — and the potential for a cure — is THE medical story of the year:

The Obama effect and the year in medicine

An Italian doctor has captured international attention with a new theory – and possible treatment – for multiple sclerosis.

Paolo Zamboni, a professor of medicine at the University of Ferrara, has published a series of papers suggesting that a narrowing of blood vessels in the neck could contribute to the development of MS. According to Dr. Zamboni, veins draining blood from the brain are malformed, or become blocked, leading to a buildup of iron in the brain which, he thinks, causes the neurological symptoms of MS.

By increasing blood flow, through a relatively simple operation, he believes symptoms can be reversed or minimized. The procedure has been performed on 65 MS patients, including Dr. Zamboni’s wife, with mixed results.

If you, a friend or family member has an interest in MS – W5 the CTV show – did a fabulous job explaining just what CCSVI is and how The Liberation Treatment has already changed the lives of MS patients.

The Liberation Treatment: A whole new approach to MS (video links to the show on the right sidebar)

Dr. Zamboni wondered if the iron came from blood improperly collecting in the brain. Using Doppler ultrasound, he began examining the necks of MS patients and made an extraordinary finding. Almost 100 per cent of the patients had a narrowing, twisting or outright blockage of the veins that are supposed to flush blood from the brain. He then checked these veins in healthy people, and found none of these malformations. Nor did he find these blockages in those with other neurological conditions.

“In my mind, this was unbelievable evidence that further study was necessary to understand the link between venous function and iron deposits on the other,” Zamboni told W5 from his research lab in Ferrara.

What was equally astounding, was that not only was the blood not flowing out of the brain, it was “refluxing” reversing and flowing back upwards. Zamboni believes that as the blood moves into the brain, pressure builds in the veins, forcing blood into the brain’s grey matter where it sets off a host of reactions, possibly explaining the symptoms of MS.

48 Responses

  1. Good morning, Katiebird. Thank you for the news links and for keeping us posted on the MS treatment research.

    • That’s fascinating.

      Makes me wonder if something very lowtech like using a leach to drain blood from above the neck would be a therapy. (Weird idea, I know)

      • My sister was in line to have a stent put in her neck by a vascular surgeon at Stanford but, he’s stopped doing the surgery while they work out a clinical trial.

        They want to track the effect of the procedure on MS.

        Which is good. But, the slow down is frustrating for people who want to start getting adequate blood flow from their brains NOW.

        The neurologists seem to be hung up on proving it as a cure for MS or not.

        To me the cure part would be great — no question. But, it’s going to take years and years to verify that.

        Meanwhile, The stents/angioplasty relieves MS patients instant relief from fatigue and clears their Brain Fog. Gosh, I wonder why?

        • I hope your sister can be part of the clinical trial if that will help her get the surgery.
          It must be so frustrating to be so close then have to wait indefinitely.

          • Thank you, votermom — it IS frustrating. The doctor called (on a Sunday night!!) and talked to her for a half hour!

            Really it’s a sign of progress. When that W5 show came out there was an EXPLOSION of interest all over the world. Until then the MS Societies totally blew off CCSVI as another Bee Venum Quack treatment. But a week after that show both the Canadian (first) and then the US MS Societies announced a call for Clinical Trials.

            She’s frustrated but, she’s also a realist. We knew it was going to be a close thing for her to get the treatment before that first phase was closed off.

        • Best wishes to you and your sister kb.

          (And to all at TC)

  2. Why are they just targeting the Cornhusker Kickback? Why are they not also targeting the deal for Floriday on the medicare advantage plans and the deal for Louisiana that Landrieu engineered? Well at least the Cornhusker deal is a flash point. I think there will be more AGs joining in as this thing moves forward or not because the medicaid expansion costs are going to hurt some of the big blue states really hard—like CA, NY, and MA.

  3. Governors of CA and NY seem to be squawking now. They should since it will cost their states big dollars and they don’t seem to have it.

  4. Wall Street had a great year:

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – Stocks dipped on Thursday despite data showing that the number of people filing for jobless benefits fell to the lowest level in about 17 months, with indexes on track for the best yearly gains since 2003.

  5. Rush Limbaugh was rushed to a hospital in Hawaii. There is a god.

  6. “Lying Your Way Into War? Apparently Not a Scandal”

    Great link. We can’t repeat it often enough. (Scroll down for article.

  7. What a train wreck. Why are women attracted to blatant abusers?

    Sorry Charlie
    Sheen’s missus calls Christmas knife assault ‘just a bad night’

    Charlie Sheen and his wife were just having a “bad night.”

    That’s the latest word on the Christmas Day scandal that led to the “Two and a Half Men” star’s arrest for second-degree assault, menacing and criminal mischief after attacking Brooke Mueller, his wife and mother of their 9-month-old twin boys.

    The mug-shot happy duo — it’s reported that Mueller was arrested twice, once for DUI and again for cocaine possession (although the latter charge was dropped) — are also keen to reconcile.

    Regarding reports that Mueller had changed her tune about being a victim of domestic violence, Galanter said, “Brooke did not recant her story, she was simply unaware of the consequences when she called 911 and felt bad about it.”

    http://www.nypost.com/p/entertainment/tv/sorry_charlie_1zOjmUPQEKvfhkQ6Ik4SBJ#ixzz0bHiOShT7

    Charlie Sheen’s history of violence
    Why is Sheen such a major star with his startling history?

    Sheen’s certainly not the first actor with a historic fondness for controlled substances and ladies of the town. So grudging props that he’s managed to parlay that very public bad-boy reputation into a lucrative on-screen career. Oh, that Charlie! He’s the philandering rake from that sitcom! And hey, the scandalous publicity just sent the ratings through the roof.

    Here’s the thing, though: Are you fucking kidding me?

    There’s naughty and there’s shoving women around, hitting them, verbally abusing them, and threatening to kill them. Repeatedly. Over years and years and years. It doesn’t matter if you’ve had an on-and-off relationship with sobriety. It doesn’t matter if the women in question are hookers or porn stars or sexy actresses or college students. It doesn’t even matter if they’re drunk. For what it’s worth, you don’t go pulling any of that on men either, though that doesn’t seem to be an issue for Sheen.

    So while you can get fired from a hit TV show shortly after making a homophobic remark, and you can lose your beauty pageant crown after posing topless, you can also, apparently, make a career of abusing women and be the highest-paid actor on television.

    http://salon.com/life/charlie_sheen/index.html?story=/mwt/broadsheet/feature/2009/12/29/charlie_sheen_911

    • “……….she was simply unaware of the consequences when she called 911 and felt bad about it.”

      Too bad she also seems unaware of the consequences of staying with someone who threatens your life. Of course, leaving is no guarantee of safety. Very scary. Very sad.

      Reminds me that I need to make a contribution to my local women’s shelter. Thanks, fif.

  8. A Cold-Blooded Foreign Policy

    No despot fears the president, and no demonstrator in Tehran expects him to ride to the rescue.

    Good points and bad ones in the editorial, but it’s worth a read.

  9. Alaskan PDS bloggers were prevented by former First-Dude from disrupting a Wasilla book-signing.

    Oh the humanity!

    (Haven’t those assholes ever heard of “private property?”)

  10. Scrooge lives!:

    Some children in Nashville this Christmas awoke to a barren Christmas tree because their parents weren’t able to provide Santa with social security numbers. What does it say about a country when two of its largest holiday gift givers, the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program, and the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots, will decline applicants who are unable to demonstrate proof of citizenship, and income, according to an article in The Tennessean.

    (h/t Egalia at TGW)

    • That’s pathetic! I just hope it didn’t happen locally. I’m sure I would know if it had.

    • But – -but—but –but –them kids is, you know, they’re BROWN! And we got us a Border that’s wide open to all kindsa TERRAISTS and CRIMINALS! Kids, Shmids. Cain’t you see that if a clumpa cells is full hoomin been with rights an’ all, that a kid terraist is no different from the grown-up, weenie-bombin’ jeee-haddin’ kind? You wanna go BOOM just because we can’t defend the U. S. of Murka aginst some pregnint-lookin’ wimmins that sneak across our sacred borders with what might just as well be a load of C-4 in their panties?

      Santa don’t give no presents to terraists. Nuh-uh. No way.

      (And in case some stalker comes cruising by and can’t tell the difference–that’s snark, son.)

  11. Joseph Cannon wants to be PALs:

    Perhaps the left will invent a new derisive phrase for those Democrats who, during the election, became convinced that Obama was just another corrupt right-wing politician. Our diagnosis was proven correct, but we hit upon it so early that we retain an aura of political cooties. Thus, we are Premature Anti-Lightbringers — or PALs.

    I like the sound of that. In fact, I may like it better than PUMA — a phrase (and a movement) which served a purpose but which has, perhaps, run its course.

  12. h/t to Peter Daou for this one:

    http://techpresident.com/blog-entry/the-obama-disconnect

    The truth is that Obama was never nearly as free of dependence on big money donors as the reporting suggested, nor was his movement as bottom-up or people-centric as his marketing implied. And this is the big story of 2009, if you ask me, the meta-story of what did, and didn’t happen, in the first year of Obama’s administration. The people who voted for him weren’t organized in any kind of new or powerful way, and the special interests–banks, energy companies, health interests, car-makers, the military-industrial complex–sat first at the table and wrote the menu. Myth met reality, and came up wanting.

    In terms of the early money that was raised by his campaign in 2007–and this is the most influential money in politics–more than one-third (36%) of his total came from the financial sector (compared to 28% for Hillary Clinton), reported campaign finance expert Thomas Ferguson. Between January and August 2007, according to the Campaign Finance Institute, 60% of Obama’s donations were in amounts of $1000 or more–a smaller proportion than Clinton, but still a majority of his crucial early funding. In terms of Obama’s overall funding, nearly half of his donations came from people giving $1000 or more.

    • You heard it here first folks. People on this very blog were remarking how this no-name, no-accomplishment, nobody junior senator amassed so much early money. Mr. Malleable was who they wanted and that’s who we got.

      Small contributions, my butt.

      Corporate puppet masters hired a better marketing team with that campaign.

    • How did “low information” voters know this in 2007-2008 and all the “high information” voters are just now talking about it like it is news?

    • I frontpaged this in a new thread. The more I read, the more I felt it needed to get shoved up to the top.

  13. Holy Cow! Has Arianna Huffington been lurking around here. Check this out: http://www.alternet.org/action/144882

  14. As an avid reader of this site, I wanted to comment on MS.

    I have this disease, and have done tons of research looking for answers. I found over the years that more and more people even children are being diagnosed with MS at alarming rates. Then it hit close to home, a family member (through marriage) and a few neighbors were diagnosed with MS .

    I found an interesting connection that MS could be caused by an infection, and off I went scouring the net. This led me to read about Tick Borne Illnesses, and to find a doctor to treat me.

    Here’s a DVD loaded with “research” regarding the connection to MS and infection. I have met many MS patients who traveled down the same road as I have, and are finding a way to health. It’s a mere $15.00 and could possibly reshape some thinking as it did mine.

    Dr. Steven Phillips: “Chronic Lyme Disease: Connection to MS- Facts behind the controversy” (DVD)
    This lecture was recorded at the Lyme Symposium held at the University of New Haven on May 12, 2006. $15
    http://www.newhaven.edu/unh/lyme/

    I realize how controversial this disease is, and how political TBI’s are, but as a patient I needed to do my own research and find my own answers. I can’t help but try to pass on what I’ve learned to other MS patients who are willing to listen.

    Here’s another site that is filled with info: ilads.org

    Best to all who is struggling with this disease, and I hope for good health for all.

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