Supreme Court Justice Souter To Retire

from NPR

April 30, 2009 · NPR has learned that Supreme Court Justice David Souter is planning to retire at the end of the court’s current term.

The court has completed hearing oral arguments for the year and will be issuing rulings and opinions until the end of June.

Souter, 69, is said to be ready to leave Washington, DC and retire to his home in New Hampshire.

This will be the first Supreme Court appointment for President Obama, with another appointment expected with the probable retirement of Justice Ruth Ginsberg, who is recovering from cancer.

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Obama staffer is “probable” for swine flu

WASHINGTON (AP) – A member of the U.S. delegation that helped prepare Energy Secretary Steven Chu’s trip to Mexico City has demonstrated flu-like symptoms and his family members have tested probable for swine flu.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Thursday that three members of an aide’s family are being tested to see if they have the same strain of swine flu that is threatening to become a pandemic. The aide worked in presidential advance, which is responsible for planning and preparing trips.

and more prom Politico

The White House is issuing a health advisory outlining “protective measures” for anyone who traveled on President Barack Obama’s trip to Mexico, after a member of the U.S. delegation came down with flu-like symptoms – and tests on his family showed they’re probably infected with the swine flu.

The individual has been identified as an advance staffer for Energy Secretary Stephen Chu.  It appears that the individual infected his wife, son, and nephew.

According to WH spokesman Robert Gibbs, President Obama has not exhibited any symptoms of flu.

h/t conservative express

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Houston toddler spent day at the mall

A mystery of sorts involving the 23 month old from Mexico who died in a Houston hospital has been solved.

“There is a three-and-a-half day gap no one is accounting for,” said Cameron County Judge Carlos Cascos.  “We need to look at the possibility that he may have contracted this somewhere either en route to Houston or in Houston somewhere,” said Cascos.


San Antonio Express-News is reporting that  the “toddler who became the first swine-flu death on U.S. soil spent a day with his family shopping at a huge Houston indoor mall the day before he began to show symptoms.”

Update:

Houston Chronicle has the timeline

Here’s a timeline of the toddler’s whereabouts, according to Cascos.

April 3 – Child arrives with mother and three brothers at the Matamoros airport. The family crosses Gateway International Bridge to Brownsville, and stays with mother for two nights at Staybridge hotel in Brownsville.

April 5 – Family members, including an aunt, mother, and three brothers travel to Houston. According to Cascos, the aunt and mother had medical appointments there. The group eats out and goes shopping at the Galleria.

April 8 – Group returns to Brownsville, child falls ill

April 13 – Child admitted to Brownsville hospital, then to Texas Children’s the next day.

April 27 - Child dies in Houston.


Swine Flu, Pregnancy and Fertility

Here is an interesting article by Colette Bouchez that I saw over at NowPublic.

Naturally, this article is of particular interest to me, as young Nuke Jr. and his bride are expecting their first in early September.  (P.S.  sonograms say it’s a boy…. Nuke III, maybe?)

If flu occurs, here are the recommendations …

The first is to control your fever.The March of Dimes recommends acetaminophen (Tylenol) but talk to your doctor first to make certain it’s okay for you. You should also try to keep your body as cool as possible with cold compresses, and drink plenty of fluids. Pregnancy is not the time to “sweat out ” a fever.

Second is continue to take your prenatal vitamins – particularly 1000 mcg of folic acid. Studies conducted at the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities in England, found that women who took a multi vitamin high in folic acid during pregnancy decreased their baby’s risk of birth defects, even if they ran a fever while pregnant.


And the use of the antivirals, tamiflu and relenza?

… it’s important to note that there have not been any cases of birth defects or other serious health concerns linked to the use of these drugs in pregnant women who have used them.

All good to know.  Thanks Colette.

Mexico to shut government in flu fight

MEXICO CITY – Mexico’s government is suspending all nonessential activity of the federal government and private business as the number of confirmed swine flu cases jumped.

The decision came as global health authorities warned Wednesday that swine flu was threatening to bloom into a pandemic, and the virus spread farther in Europe even as the outbreak appeared to stabilize at its epicenter. A toddler who succumbed in Texas became the first death outside Mexico.

Baby can you dig your man?

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Captain Trips roundup

Here’s a collection of recent links about the hybrid flu …

New information about where the toddler who died in Houston from the swine flu visited before his death.

“There is a three-and-a-half day gap no one is accounting for,” said Cameron County Judge Carlos Cascos.  “We need to look at the possibility that he may have contracted this somewhere either en route to Houston or in Houston somewhere,” said Cascos. “We don’t think it was in Brownsville.”


Central New York high school student tests positive for swine flu

The Fabius-Pompey Central School District is closing Thursday and Friday as a precaution after a female high school student who recently traveled to Mexico tested positive for swine flu.

The student lives in Cortland County and is one of three possible human swine flu cases reported earlier this week by the Cortland Health Department.



A Cal State Long Beach student received a “probable positive” test result for swine flu.

The Long Beach Health Department informed the university of the affected student late Tuesday, and early Wednesday morning CSULB Beach President F. King Alexander sent a campus-wide e-mail with information about the student, symptoms of swine flu and a hotline for anyone to call if they have any questions specific to swine flu.

The student who may have been infected lived in the Los Alamitos residence hall. The roommate of the possibly infected student has been moved to a different room where he or she will remain until further notice.



Three probable swine flu cases in state, two in city (Milwaukee, WI)

Officials announced Wednesday evening at least two probable cases of swine flu have been identified in Milwaukee with a third case in Adams County in central Wisconsin.

In Milwaukee, officials said four city schools will be closed through the end of the week.


Suspected H1N1 Flu Case Reported at California Marine Base

The Marine Corps commandant today confirmed a suspected case of what the U.S. Homeland Security Council now is calling H1N1 flu, but has been known as “swine flu,” at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif.

A male Marine reported to a medical clinic on base over the weekend complaining of flu-like symptoms. Initial test results indicate the H1N1 virus, and the service is waiting for further results from testing at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Marine Corps Gen. James T. Conway said.


Will NorthCom take over in Swine Flu Outbreak?

The swine flu outbreak raises a lot of fears.

Here’s one you might not have thought of yet: The Pentagon may be taking over more and more of our civil society in this crisis.

[editor's note:  cue spooky music]


9 Probable Cases of Swine Flu in Illinois

Dr. Damon T. Arnold, Illinois Department of Public Health Director, announced there are currently nine probable cases of swine flu in Illinois: five in Cook County (all within the Chicago city limits), one in DuPage County, two in Kane County and one in Lake County.


8th Case of Swine Flu Reported in San Diego

“There are now eight cases of human infection with swine influenza A (H1N1) in San Diego County,” Health & Human Services Agency spokesman Tom Christensen said.


Maryland health officials identify 6 probable swine flu cases

Maryland health officials have identified six probable cases of swine flu in the state.

Three affected individuals reside in Baltimore County and three in Anne Arundel County.


Should swine flu get a new name?

The Paris-based World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) said the virus was not swine flu.

“The virus has not been isolated in animals to date. Therefore, it is not justified to name this disease swine flu,” the OIE said.

The virus “includes in its characteristics swine, avian and human virus components”, the OIE said, and urged that it be called “North American influenza”, after its geographic origin.

Soldier’s letters give first-hand look at Spanish flu pandemic

With fears of a swine flu pandemic rising daily, CNN Pentagon producer Larry Shaughnessy remembered a batch of letters from his grandfather, a World War I soldier who battled the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918-1919.


Nevada: Swine flu patient didn’t travel

A Washoe County official says the 2-year-old Reno girl diagnosed with the first case of swine flu in Nevada does not appear to have traveled to areas of the country where other cases have been diagnosed.

Dr. Randall Todd, state epidemiologist, said during a press conference Wednesday, that another family member is ill as well.

Mayhap it is, and mayhap it ain’t

WHO has raised the Pandemic Threat Level from the hybrid flu to Level 5.

“All countries should immediately now activate their pandemic preparedness plans, Dr Chan said. “This is a signal to governments, the pharmaceutical industry and business community to take action.”  source

This is serious stuff.  It will get worse.  Plan on it.  Prepare for it.

WHO disputes ’150 swine flu deaths’ in Mexico

A MEMBER of the World Health Organisation has dismissed claims that more than 150 people have died from swine flu, saying it has officially recorded only seven deaths around the world.

Reports have put the likely death toll from the virus at 152, with Mexican officials confirming 20 deaths.

The number of cases under observation in Mexico alone has reportedly reached 1614.

But Vivienne Allan, from WHO’s patient safety program, said the body had confirmed that worldwide there had been just seven deaths – all in Mexico – and 79 confirmed cases of the disease.

“Unfortunately that (150-plus deaths) is incorrect information and it does happen, but that’s not information that’s come from the World Health Organisation,” Ms Allan said.

“That figure is not a figure that’s come from the World Health Organisation and, I repeat, the death toll is seven and they are all from Mexico.”

I’m not sure what to make of this.  Either WHO is using a much more closely controlled set of criteria for determining morbity, or the reporting of the spread of this new disease has been swept up in overblown hysteria.

The reports from the field are much more alarming.  Just today in the BBC reader reports section, a doctor from Mexico reported:

The number of cases increases significantly every day. The number of fatalities is also increasing. At least three doctors are said to have died from swine flu. There is great fear among the medical community. We know that the situation is very serious and that we are at high risk of infection.

But we are more scared of carrying it into our homes and infecting our loved ones. One of my colleagues that was exposed chose to stay in a hotel rather than run the risk of infecting her daughters. …

In one hospital doctors were given the anti-viral rimantadine, even though there is resistance to this drug. Also, fewer samples are being taken from severe cases, as there is a lack of means of transporting and cultivating the samples.

Perhaps the lack of sampling in Mexico has something to do with the lack of data. 

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Country don’t mean dumb

“Where the hell it got all these genes from we don’t know, but this is a real super-mixed-up virus….”

“The scary thing is that this virus seems enormously transmissible.”

Robert Webster, a flu virologist at St Jude Children’s Research Hospital (source)

—-

Today’s reader’s email at BBC continues to paint an increasingly bleak picture for our southern neighbors.

The number of cases increases significantly every day. The number of fatalities is also increasing. At least three doctors are said to have died from swine flu. There is great fear among the medical community. We know that the situation is very serious and that we are at high risk of infection.

But we are more scared of carrying it into our homes and infecting our loved ones. One of my colleagues that was exposed chose to stay in a hotel rather than run the risk of infecting her daughters.

These fears are getting worse as we realise that it is not possible to get antiviral drugs from pharmacies and that in the health sector they are close to being delivered in droppers.

Despite this, the government says that it can rely on antiviral drugs to treat a million cases. We do not have easy access to these, even though we are part of the health sector.

In one hospital doctors were given the anti-viral rimantadine, even though there is resistance to this drug. Also, fewer samples are being taken from severe cases, as there is a lack of means of transporting and cultivating the samples.
Dr Guadalupe from BBC

This could easily get much, much worse.

Paging Captain Trips

More from “have your say” at BBC


I am a doctor and I work in the State of Mexico. I don’t work in the shock team; I am in the echocardiography team, but I do get some news from my colleagues in the hospital. There have been some cases of young people dying from respiratory infections, but this happened before the alert and they were not reported because the necessary tests weren’t done. We doctors knew this was happening a week before the alert was issued and were told to get vaccinated. I went to buy some anti-virals for my husband, who is also a doctor, because he had contact with a young patient who presented influenza symptoms and died. I don’t think pharmacies stock enough anti-virals.

I understand the government doesn’t want to generate panic, but my personal opinion is that they issued the alert too late. Still now, the population is not getting the information they need. We have been out in the street and some people are not wearing face masks and are not taking any preventive measures.

M-O-O-N, that spells swine flu

More from BBC

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

Baby can you dig your man?

An interesting comment from “Have your say” at BBC News

I work as a resident doctor in one of the biggest hospitals in Mexico City and sadly, the situation is far from “under control”. As a doctor, I realise that the media does not report the truth. Authorities distributed vaccines among all the medical personnel with no results, because two of my partners who worked in this hospital (interns) were killed by this new virus in less than six days even though they were vaccinated as all of us were. The official number of deaths is 20, nevertheless, the true number of victims are more than 200. I understand that we must avoid to panic, but telling the truth it might be better now to prevent and avoid more deaths.

Yeny Gregorio Dávila, Mexico City

cue video

Leftist faux outrage is boring

swimmer

FDIC Friday: Times like these

Four more bank failures were announced today by the FDIC.  If anyone’s keeping score, that makes 29 so far this year.

Bank Closing Information – April 24, 2009
These links contain useful information for the customers and vendors of these closed banks.

First Bank of Idaho, Ketchum, ID
First Bank of Beverly Hills, Calabasas, CA
Michigan Heritage Bank, Farmington Hills, MI
American Southern Bank, Kennesaw, GA

We are certainly living in some strange times.

The judgement to lead

As Taleban fighters continue their surge toward the Pakistani capital of Islamabad, the prospects of Islamic terrorists coming into the possession of nuclear weapons has never been closer. The gap, in fact, is a mere 60 miles.

The “test” that Joe Biden warned about may be upon us.

“Mark my words…… With the next, first six months of this administration, if we win, they’re going to — we’re going to face a major international challenge. Because they’re going to want to test him, just like they did young John Kennedy. They’re going to want to test him.”

Instead of placating the radical Left by picking a fight with the previous administration over the definition of “torture,” our new president might be forced to employ his considerable skill on the security task at hand.  And, if he is unsuccessful in “mending fences with our enemies,”  he may have to consider acting in the security interests of the Free World by securing the nuclear stockpile.

A year ago, candidate Obama told us that he was very capable of doing this. … “Foreign policy is the area where I am probably most confident that I know more and understand the world better than Senator Clinton or Senator McCain.”

No big surprise if you don’t remember this. It was understandably obscured by the other comments he made at that same San Francisco fundraiser — his famous “clinging to guns and religion” statement. (I mean, really, who can doubt that DHS’s report on right-wing extremism is any different than Obama’s own true feelings about conservatives?)  Obama went on to say that among the three candidates for President, he alone possesses “the judgment, the temperament to ask the right questions, to weigh the costs and benefits of military action, who insists on good intelligence, who is not going to be swayed by the short-term politics.”  source

What a piece of work, this man.  Perhaps he remembers making these statements.  Let us hope that his recollection is better than the statements he made regarding Cuba as recently as 2004, something that he described last week as happening “eons ago.”

Although Mr. Obama has been quick to blame many of the problems of the nation on his predecessor, one thing he inherited that is in good condition is our military.  Their bravery and mettle may have to bear the brunt of Obama’s “test.”

They, as well as he, are in my prayers.

=====

This is the World Famous Friday Open Thread.  A Free Speech Zone.  Trackbacks welcome.

WFFOT:  A thread in time saves nine.

Linkfest Haven, the Blogger's OasisTrackposted to Peace and Freedom, The Pink Flamingo, Rosemary’s Thoughts, third world county, Right Truth, The World According to Carl, Right Voices, Hot Air, Michelle Malkin, and thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

Thomas Paine Responds To The TaxDay TeaParties!

In an update from this earlier post, Mr. Paine is encouraged, and enthused.

It is time to take it back, we have been slacking off for too many years.

R.I.P. Common Sense

2nd Anniversary of The Reid Doctrine™

It has been two years since the Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, declared the war in Iraq as a defeat for the United States.

We named his policy of pre-emptive surrender, The Reid Doctrine™

“Now I believe, myself, that the secretary of state, the secretary of defense and you have to make your own decision as to what the president knows: that this war is lost, that the surge is not accomplishing anything,”
–Senator Harry Reid, D-Nev.

Let’s go to the video …

Happy anniversary Senator Reid.

Hell no, we ain’t forgettin’.

h/t Alaphiah

Update: HotAir has Harry Reid “D-I” Day

Man-made disasterists have work accident

Work accident in the overseas contingency operation. Obviously these man-made disasterists need themselves a good products liability lawyer.

Michelle Malkin says: “Reality doesn’t fit Hollywood’s narrative … Must be lovely to live life immunized from the truth.” Well, there’s no hiding from the truth in this video. I laughed. I cried. It’s the feel-good hit of the Spring!

Even in Obama-speak, I just love a movie with a happy ending.
/Sniff.

BTW, if you’re having trouble seeing the video, check out my new screen cleaner.

Words Have Meaning – More on the DHS Report

President Obama’s DHS created a stir in conservative circles a few days ago with the release of a controversial report on the potential rise of “right wing extremism.” Emotions are still raw. It didn’t help that the liberal website “Media Matters” made light of the concerns of the right, calling the reaction a “ conservative media freak-out.” Media Matters then offered this defense of the DHS report:

…while the report addressed potential issues that could spur right-wing extremism, it did not allege that someone is an extremist simply because he or she holds conservative views.

Well, that’s good to know.

However, Media Matter’s conclusion contradicts a number of big-name Democratic Party figures who have used the exact same label of “right wing extremist” to describe mainstream Republican leaders.

Vice President Al Gore accuses President George W. Bush as being a “renegade” Right Wing Extremist. Source

Senator Hillary Clinton accuses President George W. Bush of being a Right Wing Extremist. Source

The Clinton Whitehouse accuses Whitewater critics of being a “Cabal” of Right Wing Extremists. Source

President Bill Clinton accuses President George W. Bush and Senator John McCain of being Right Wing Extremists.
Source

Time after time for years now, prominent figures on the political left, including the past Democratic administration, have used “Right Wing Extremist” as a pejorative label to refer to mainstream Republicans.

But now, all of a sudden, we’re not supposed to believe that the new Democratic administration means the same thing when talking about “Right Wing Extremists.” Oh no. We’re over-reacting, hyperventilating even.

My B.S. meter is pegged out.

It’s time for the political left to get this.

Words have meaning.

More: Hot Air – Senators demand data, explanation

tracked to MM Saturday Open, Trackposted to Blog @ MoreWhat.com, Rosemary’s Thoughts, third world county, Allie is Wired, Woman Honor Thyself, The Beauty Stop, The World According to Carl, The Right Nation, The Pink Flamingo, and Leaning Straight Up, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

Friday Feat!

Fat Man in the Bathtub.

Enjoy!

Have a great weekend, y’all.

Surviving a post-American presidency

Carolyn Glick’s “Surviving a post-American world” expresses my unspoken concerns and worst fears for the future of American liberty from the Obama presidency in a way that I have simply been unable to find words for.

Here is an excerpt from Jewish World Review …

Somewhere between apologizing for American history — both distant and recent; genuflecting before the unelected, bigoted king of Saudi Arabia; announcing that he will slash the US’s nuclear arsenal, scrap much of America’s missile defense programs and emasculate the US Navy; leaving Japan to face North Korea and China alone; telling the Czechs, Poles and their fellow former Soviet colonies, “Don’t worry, be happy,” as he leaves them to Moscow’s tender mercies; humiliating Iraq’s leaders while kowtowing to Iran; preparing for an open confrontation with Israel; and thanking Islam for its great contribution to American history, President Obama made clear to the world’s aggressors that America will not be confronting them for the foreseeable future.

As they say, read it all.

FDIC Friday

Two more banks have failed, one in Nevada, the other in Missouri …

Nevada State Bank, Las Vegas, Nevada, Assumes All of the Deposits of Great Basin Bank of Nevada, Elko, Nevada

April 17, 2009

Nevada State Bank, Las Vegas, Nevada, Assumes All of the Deposits of Great Basin Bank of Nevada, Elko, Nevada

Metcalf Bank, Lee’s Summit, Missouri, Assumes All of the Deposits of American Sterling Bank, Sugar Creek, Missouri

April 17, 2009

Metcalf Bank, Lee's Summit, Missouri, Assumes All of the Deposits of American Sterling Bank, Sugar Creek, Missouri

The truth is out there: WFFOT

Today’s WFFOT:          “Artifacts discovered underneath crop circles”

I don’t know about you, but I might just take my metal detector to the next crop circle that shows up around here.

Actually, we’re still waiting for the first crop circle to show up around here.  And it occurs to me that since there’s not a lot of wheat or corn fields around here, the aliens could just go over to one of the wooded areas and carve out one of those circles amongst all the pine trees.

That would work!

Plus, I’m wondering, why don’t we ever see crop circles in the soybean fields?  Aliens got a bug-a-boo about tofu?

===

This is the World Famous Friday Open Thread. Trackbacks welcome. Crop circles optional.

WFFOT:
Because a crop circle is a terrible thing to waste.

Linkfest Haven, the Blogger's OasisTrackposted to The Right Nation, The Pink Flamingo, Leaning Straight Up, third world county, and The World According to Carl, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

OOPS! Sebelius “forgot” about $200,000 donation

Letter reveals more corruption from Obama’s pick to lead HHS

A second financial revelation has cast further doubt on Gov. Kathleen Sebelius’ representation to the Senate Finance Committee of the nature of her relationship with late-term abortionist George Tiller.

Sebelius is President Obama’s nominee for the secretary of the Health and Human Services (HHS). She is currently seeking Senate confirmation.

After Sebelius was recently found to have reported only a fraction of Tiller’s $38,450 in donations to her insurance commissioner campaign, Operation Rescue yesterday released a copy of a 2002 letter from Tiller stating that he contributed $200,000 to his political action committee (PAC) to assist Sebelius’ gubernatorial reelection.

In the letter addressed to members of ProKanDo, Tiller’s political action committee, Tiller warns against Sebelius’ “anti-choice” opponent Tim Shallenburger, and expresses regret that his “personal contribution of $200,000 to ProKanDo” was not enough “to alert voters to the anti-choice position of Mr. Shallenberger (sic).”

Tiller then urges constituents to raise another $250,000 to help spread the message that Sebelius’ opponent “does not trust women.”

(To view Tiller’s letter, go to: http://operationrescue.org/pdfs/Tiller%20letter,%202002.pdf)

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Take my love, take my land. Take me where I cannot stand. I don't care, I'm still free. You can't take the sky from me. Take me out to the black. Tell them I ain't coming back. Burn the land and boil the sea. You can't take the sky from me. There's no place I can be Since I've found Serenity......But you can't take the sky from me.

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