Will to Live

Simply amazing:

When Maggie Rogers spotted something bobbing in the water three miles into the Gulf of Mexico while on a scalloping trip with friends, she assumed it was a turtle, or a piece of sea kelp.

But as the boat got closer and slowed down, she found it was a tiny, apricot-colored kitten. Nine inches long and screaming at the top of its lungs, the cat was paddling furiously.

“We scooped him up and he sat on the boat with me for eight hours,” said Rogers, who is the finance director at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.

“He was exhausted and stressed,” Rogers said. “His heart rate was high.”

I am generally against the death penalty, but in crueltyto animal cases, I think it is justified. How someone could dump this fellow in the ocean is beyond me. Scum.


Like What You See?

Feel free to donate-and much thanks to all of those who have contributed in recent weeks. I tried to email everyone who has contributed, but one or two of you may have slipped through- my apologies.

We are about 1/3of the way to paying for a site re-design.


Thanks again.

Knock it Off

Kerry and Edwards are not gay, and if they were, who cares.

Idiot homophobes.

*** Update ***

The Instapundit links to two flash videos that demonstrate how stupid this whole Kerry/Edwards touching thing is.

A Growing Trend

With John Edwards elevation to VP candidate, here is a trend you will begin to hear more about:

About a year ago, 49-year-old trial lawyer Clay Mitchell’s physician retired, leaving him to look for a new internist.

With a reference from his father, a prominent gynecologist, Mitchell chose Dr. Ivan Castro of Winter Park Internal Medicine for his annual check-up.

Mitchell arrived for his appointment, filled out the paperwork, including his profession and employer’s name, and was escorted into a room. But after Mitchell changed into a paper medical gown, an office staff member informed him that because he was a trial lawyer, Castro would not attend to him.

“It was humiliating,” he says.

Castro, who was a named Top Doctor in 2003 by Orlando Magazine, still stands by his decision to not treat Mitchell.

His reason: Trial lawyers can no longer bite the hand that cares for them. And, Castro says, he is not alone. “Many of us do this for a very good reason.”

This is not a rare example:

A South Carolina surgeon dropped a patient when he found out her husband was a trial lawyer.

In New Hampshire, a neurosurgeon told the head of the states trial lawyers that he wouldnt treat him for nonemergencies.

A plastic surgeon in Mississippi refused to treat the daughter of a state lawmaker because of his stand on malpractice suits.

It is going to get worse:

There are 73,084 working lawyers in Texas. Selina Leewright never thought that being married to one would cost her her job.

But that’s why Leewright, a nurse, was fired last summer by Good Shepherd Medical Center in the East Texas city of Longview. In dismissing her, hospital officials praised her nursing skills as ”fantastic.” But they told her that because her husband, Marty, worked at a law firm that does medical-malpractice litigation, the hospital could not continue to employ her. ”I was dumbfounded,” Leewright says. ”They just assumed that my husband does medical malpractice, which he doesn’t at all.”

Leewright’s firing was a measure of how toxic the battle over medical-malpractice lawsuits has become. Hospital administrators and doctors across the nation, furious over what they see as waves of frivolous lawsuits that have driven up malpractice insurance costs, are striking back against lawyers with hardball tactics that, in some cases, are raising ethical questions.

Some doctors are refusing medical treatment to lawyers, their families and their employees except in emergencies. Professional medical societies are trying to silence their peers by discouraging doctors from testifying as expert witnesses on behalf of plaintiffs. And a New Jersey doctor who supported malpractice legislation that his colleagues opposed was ousted from his hospital post.

While sharing their peers’ anger over malpractice lawsuits, some doctors see such tactics — particularly the refusal of treatment — as contrary to the Hippocratic oath, in which new doctors acknowledge ”special obligations to all my fellow human beings.”

But Chris Hawk, a surgeon in Charleston, S.C., says the notion of refusing treatment to malpractice lawyers, their family members and associates not only is justified, it’s necessary. ”This idea may be repulsive,” Hawk says. ”It’s hardball. But it’s ethical.”

For the record, I first heard about this at a picnic several weeks ago, during a chat with several doctors, medical students, and residents. It is a shame that all lawyers get tarred with this, but many good doctors feel that they have been getting screwed for a long time, and they are mad as hell and not going to take it anymore. When trial lawyers use junk science to rape doctors and insurance companies for huge fees, the anger is somewhat justified.

BTW- Here is a post on Edwards and his cerebral palsy cases, the ones where he channeled an unborn child en route to an obscene award. Nut graf:

Edwards can’t be blamed for being a good attorney, even if the science rejects his claims, but his front of caring for the victims does not stand scrutiny. Edwards, along with his fellow attorneys in the North Carolina plaintiff’s bar, argued against a compensation plan that would insure everyone with a child born with cerebral palsy.

Keep your eye on this.


I can’t think of any situation in which Riordan’s comments might be found amusing:

No one ever accused Richard Riordan of being a prisoner to political correctness, but the feisty former mayor of Los Angeles and now the state’s education secretary may have outdone himself last week when he called a youngster at a book event a “stupid, dirty girl.”

The incident took place Thursday at the Santa Barbara Central Library, where Riordan stopped in to promote a summer reading program. After reading a picture book to preschoolers and young elementary school pupils, he chatted with some of them.

One girl asked whether he was aware that her name was that of an Egyptian goddess.

While her full name was not released, event participants said her first name is Isis, the archetypal Egyptian goddess who represents everything from motherhood to magic to the dead and is considered by some historians to have influenced Christian interpretation of the Virgin Mary.

Riordan apparently thought the girl was asking whether he knew what her name meant and, with a camera rolling from a local news station, made an inexplicable quip he would immediately regret.

“It means stupid, dirty girl,” he said.

The story was carried by the Associated Press and circulated statewide over the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who named the 74-year-old Riordan to his Cabinet, issued a stern statement calling his appointee’s remark “unacceptable in any context.” But Schwarzenegger went on to say that Riordan “would never knowingly or intentionally upset a child. … I know he deeply regrets having made these unfortunate remarks.”

Riordan apologized to the girl on the spot, said Carol Keator, director of the Santa Barbara public library system.

Has he lost his mind? Is there really any situation where insulting a 6 year-old is considered funny? Jeebus.


To those of you who doubted me yesterday when I said Josh Marshall is nothing more than a two-nbit hack, Paul begala with a degree- check this out.

Marshall links approvingly to a painting claiming Iraq was all about oil and states:

“A painting that rather sums up President Bush and Iraq.”

What a tedious fool.

*** Update ***

A reader notes this Mencken quip:

“It is the classic fallacy of our time that a moron run through a university and decorated with a Ph.D. will thereby cease to be a moron.”

For the Love Of Everything Holy

I guess Oliver is gunning for the Jesse Jackson Race Pimp award today with this post:

Blacks? Don’t Need ‘Em

Regardless of the NAACP’s endorsements, it is the leading organization for civil rights for black Americans.

That is Oliver’s reaction to Bush turning down a request to speak to a group of people who have compared him to the taliban, told him that he is little more than an apologist for the confederacy, and paid for and produced the odious Byrd dragging commercials. I am shocked, shocked, I say, that Bush won’t speak to them.

Furthermore, the notion that the NAACP is a civil rights organization is for me a topic of debate. I see them as nothing morethan an illegal arm of the DNC, operating under the financial loopholes provided to ‘non-profit’ organizations.

What civil rights advances has the NAACP championed lately? What have they accomplished, other than to entrench themselves into the Democratic party to such an extent that both parties can ignore them.

The notion that the NAACP fights for all blacks is just absurd. The notion that they are fighting for civil rights is also questionable. Go look at the criteria for the ‘civil rights scorecard’ issued by the NAACP.

Wait until the the NAACP voter guides come out- it will look eerily similar to a the Democratic party platform.

*** Update ***

After reading this post by Jesse, in which he makes a total asshole out of himself, I have changed my mind. Bush should send Cheney, who can promptly tell Julian Bond and Kweisi Mfume to go fuck themselves.

Campaign Nicknames?

A reader suggests that the only thing Edwards brings to the Kerry campaign is big money trial lawyer connections, and thus wonders if the Kerry/Edwards ticket should be called the “Cash and Kerry” ticket.

Henry Hanks thinks this ticket should be called the “September 10th ticket.”

I prefer to call the “Tax and Sue in 2004.

Please list your entries below.


What do Democrats think aboutthe Edwards selection? Mark Kleiman and one of his readers have a little back-and-forth.

Again, it is important to note that the core Democratic argument for president is not “Kerry in 2004,” but rather it is a more forceful “Not Bush in 2004.” How is this going to affect voting?

About Time

It is about time that serious people started to dissect and dismiss the overheated bloviating coming from Josh Marshall. Marshall prides himself as an astute insider with a keen eye on international policy, when in reality he is nothing more than Paul Begala with a PhD, toeing the Democrat line on every issue and dissembling anything and evrtrything in as anti-Bush a tone as he believes he can cedibly get away with.

This is not the first time that Marshall has been called on his nonsense, he has been wrong about almost every aspect of the North Korean issue since day one.

The flap started with this article extolling Kerry’s firm realism in the field of foreign policy and this follow-up post.

What is the big deal? A.) He spins Kerry’s probable foreign policy appraoch, which judging by his rhetoric and votes would be neo-isolationist, with most foreign policy conducted according to the will of a majority vote of multinational organizations into what MArshall calls ‘realism.’ Go figure.

B.) He lies about the Bush record regarding thepromotion of Democracy.

I don;thave the energy to waste on him- but Robert Tagorda, Dan Drezner, David Adesnik, and The Belgravia Dispatch.

Make sure you read Drezner’s comments, and get an extra chuckle at the people touting Kerry’s realism while pissily stating that Bush has not done enough to promote Democracy in Pakistan. Internal consistency is not a strongpoint for Marshall or the Democrats in general.

With Friends Like This

No wonder the uber-partisan Democrats hate Mickey Kaus. Look at what he has to say about Kerry:

As a Democrat, I have two big fears about John Kerry. The first is that he’ll lose. The second is that he’ll win. Let’s take the second possibility first. One reason Kerry might lose, after all, is an inchoate public intuition that he would not be a successful president…

Kaus then notes that Kerry does not work or play well with others, has no political courage, no vision, and no ability to sell his ideas.

Sounds like Kaus will be voting for Bush, right?


Seriously, though- if that is what Kerry supporters (even marginal ones) are saying,it is going to be a long couple of months.

Let Kerry Be Kerry

If Republicans want to win this campaign, they don’t need to attack Kerry (although his handlers call anything said about him an attack)- all the GOP needs to do is inform. Say, or example, just letting the American people know where Kerry’s campaign slogan came from:

Kerry wrote the preface to a new collection of Hughes’s poems that will be published by Vintage this month, just in time for the Democratic National Convention. The paperback edition will feature nine Hughes poems “about freedom, brotherhood and the American dream.”

In May, Kerry invoked the first two lines of Hughess poem “Let America Be America Again” as his campaign theme:

“Let America be America again/
Let it be the dream it used to be.”

In his preface, Kerry writes that he was inspired by Hughes’s words. “I was drawn to incorporate the words of the poem in my 2004 presidential campaign because it reminds us that America is nation always in the process of becoming, always striving to build ‘a more perfect union.'”

Kerry has taken some heat from some observers on both the left and right for his choice. “Let America Be America” was part of Hughes’s “A New Song,” a pamphlet of often radical poems published by the socialist International Workers Order.

The ironic, critical poem provides a harsh indictment of the American dream.

Hughes concludes: “America never was America to me.”

That ought to be a big hit at the VFW.

More here.

*** Update ***

Dear Oliver

I never said anything about Langston Hughes himself. I merely pointed out that the poem Kerry was using has been seized upon by Socialist groups for use as agitprop. If the Bush slogan came from a poem used in a similar manner by Neo-Nazi’s, you would have afield day.



I have something to admit.

I just can’t get excited about the Kerry/Edwards ticket. If you read liberal blogs, this ticket is the second coming, and frankly, I just don’t see it.

I guess the contrast of Kerry to Edwards is what is ramping up the excitement- he is a dynamic speaker, and while Cheney will rip him apart factually in the debates, I am sure that Edwards will hold his own with his polished speaking style.

But that is it- I just can’t get excited about the ticket at all- it isthe most liberal ticket since Mondal/ferraro, and I have to chuckle when I see them make statements like this:

Introducing Edwards in Cleveland, the first city to get electricity, Kerry welcomed “a different kind of electricity called John Edwards.” The Massachusetts senator called his running mate a man with “passion, conviction and strength.”

“He represents the best of the hope of our country, the best of opportunity,” Kerry said.

Kerry also poked fun at himself as well as his running mate for something the two often are teased about.

“We’ve got better vision, better ideas, real plans. We’ve got a better sense of what’s happening to America – and we’ve got better hair,” Kerry said, laughing.

Set aside the hair quip, which is funny (more of that would make the Massachussetts cyborg seem almost human), but when you cut to the heart of the matter, there are NO new ideas in the Kerry campaign.

Go through his rhetoric and ‘ideas.’ It is the same melange of rejected liberal nonsense that every ten years or so they try to repackage and force feed us depsite our wishes. The only coherent message the Democrats have had for four years has been that they want to be at Bush in 2004. So much for the party of Pat Moynihan.

BTW- You want to know who would have been a great choice for Kerry- Sam Nunn.

What Is Happening

I don’t know who these guys are, and what they have done with my beloved Pirates, but I will take it.

They have now won ten games in a row. As ameasure of how inadequate they were earlier this season, they are still only 38-43.

At any rate, they have been fun to watch. Congrats to Jack Wilson, too, for making the All-Star roster.

Must Read

I know I said I was gone until Tuesday, but here is a Balloon Juice first:

Digby has a must read post up.

THis is by far the best euolgy to Brando I have read, and I learned a great deal.

(Via Pandagon)