Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics


  1. I was hauled off to the emergency room by ambulance on April 30th, Saturday evening.  Cardiac event.

    To be specific, it was a sudden attack of supraventricular tachycardia.  As the EMTs and later the ER cardiologist explained it to me, the heart’s electrical impulses normally fire at the top of the organ.  Sometimes they instead fire in the center, at the AV node, and that sends the heart into the fast-beat arrhythmia called tachycardia.  What triggers it?  Stress can (and I’d had a very stressful week); caffeine can (and I’d had a large mug of coffee within the last hour); it’s relatively benign, a problem with the heart’s electrical system rather than the plumbing, as the ER cardiologist put it. Sometimes it’s a recurrent problem; sometimes it hits once and never returns.

    Which knowledge, had I known it when things went kablooie, probably wouldn’t have helped much with the “OMG I’m gonna die!” feeling that swept over me when this erupted.  SVT produces a sudden sensation of pressure in the chest rising into the throat, a galloping, tumultuous pulse, with added delights of shortness of breath and lightheadedness – not to mention sheer terror:  Is this a heart attack?  Am I going to die?  Right freakin NOW?

    I’d had an episode much like this several years ago, that went away on its own after several minutes, so I tried a few minutes of sitting quietly, breathing slowly, and hoping.  Didn’t help.  So I called 911, reported sudden onset of elevated heart rate, and was told help was being dispatched right away.  They weren’t kidding!  As I waited I got dressed from housecoat to top, pants, shoes; fetched a jacket and my purse; stuffed a book (!) in my purse – and in those few short minutes help arrived.  Quite an impressive show it was for the neighbors, too – not only the ambulance but also a fire engine and a police car.

    The first responders were all wonderful – calm, professional, clearly knew their jobs and set about them with reassuring competence.  After taking vitals, quizzing me on this, that and the other, and assessing the portable EKG readings, the EMTs rebooted my heart, and my blood pressure (from 200/100) and pulse began to drop back toward normal.

    Rebooted my heart?  Oh, yes.  Hit the reset button, they did.  Specifically, had me hold my breath and bear down in my gut while one EMT pressed hard on my belly – a technique (the Valsalva maneuver, to be precise) which triggers the vagus nerve, they said, to reset the heart’s electrical system.  Bonus:  If I ever have another SVT episode, I can try rebooting myself!

    Once they had me stabilized, they tucked me into a chair thingie, well strapped in, and carried me outside, down the stairs, and to the waiting stretcher.  Kudos to their thoughtfulness in asking me what I wanted done with lights on/off, windows open/closed, and pet care, leaving me free to freak out over what was going on inside without having to spare any fretting for external worries.

    Then it was off to the hospital – my first (and I hope last) ambulance ride, which is an experience in itself.  They zipped me right into an exam room, no waiting room stays for cardiac patients I gather, and got me hooked up to various monitors, IV-portaled, and queried some more about what was going on.  Blood pressure and pulse continued drifting downwards to reasonable levels; the EKG patterns steadied to normal, and after a couple of hours the ER cardiologist decided it was safe to let me go home:  “Switch to decaf, take it easy, and see your doctor this coming week,” she advised.

    I’ve been fine since then.  Have seen my doctor, who said all was currently well; don’t even need to go on any medication unless I have recurrences.  Trying to take it easy (it helps that work is much slower than it had been before the episode).  And switched to decaf.

  2. spacemanspiff

    Tears of Joy

    Commentary by Black Kos Editor Deoliver47

    There have been a few times in my life that I have wept tears of joy over world events.

    I remember February 11, 1990 quite well as one of those times – Nelson Mandela was free.

  3. HappyinVT

    GROTON, Conn.-

    The U.S. Navy base in Groton is welcoming the first class of female officers selected for assignment to submarines.

    Eight women were reporting Monday for an initial training course at Naval Submarine Base New London that will also include 74 male officers.

    Naval Submarine School spokesman William Kenny says no changes have been required in terms of physical accommodations, lodging or classrooms.

  4. HappyinVT

    Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife, Maria Shriver, have separated, with Shriver moving out of their Brentwood mansion while the two determine the next step in their 25-year marriage.

    Shriver has been residing apart from the actor-turned-politician for the last few weeks. The former first couple confirmed the separation in a joint statement released Monday after questions from The Times.

    “This has been a time of great personal and professional transition for each of us,” the statement read. “After a great deal of thought, reflection, discussion and prayer, we came to this decision together. At this time, we are living apart while we work on the future of our relationship.

  5. HappyinVT

    KABUL, Afghanistan – U.S. soldiers are heading into what may be a pivotal Afghan fighting season that determines the scale of an initial U.S. troop withdrawal, now pegged at 5,000 in July, senior U.S. officials say.

    The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that preliminary proposals call for a 5,000-troop drawdown in July and as many as 5,000 more by the end of the year. The proposal was drawn up before the Pakistan raid that killed Osama bin Laden and has not formally been presented to Gen. David Petraeus, commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan.…  

    This does not seem to mean any combat troops will withdraw but I suppose you have to start somewhere.

  6. HappyinVT

    AMHERST, N.Y. – Muslim leaders are upset that a homeowner who lives next door to a newly opened mosque has posted a sign on his front lawn that reads “Bomb Making Next Driveway.”

    Michael Heick lives along a heavily traveled road in Amherst, a Buffalo suburb. The next driveway on the same side of the road is the entrance to the Jaffarya Center.


    Heick, for his part, insisted the sign was not directed at a particular group.

    “It does not say what driveway. It doesn’t say ‘at the mosque’,” he said. “If they feel it’s at them, that’s how they feel.”…  

  7. HappyinVT

    Bin Laden’s Dead: Up Yours to Obama’s “Real American” Critics!

    An Open Letter to the Republican Liars Club:

    This morning I got up at 4 AM to walk across the street to congratulate my Marine son (now home safe with his wife and two little children after 5 years service and war) on having been a small link in the chain of service that hunted down and killed bin Laden. I wanted to thank someone who wore the uniform of the US military. I also sent up yet another “up yours!” to the so-called “Real American” conservative critics of our president; those liars like Donald Trump, Michelle Bachmann, Sarah Palin et al who have nurtured the racist-motivated attacks on our first black president.

    But from the same “letter” true and not funny:

    While in Afghanistan my son John worked in signals intelligence, went on secret missions looking for bin Laden and did his part with thousands of other heroes. Meanwhile back home liars and racists took over the Republican Party and told us our commander in chief wasn’t a real American. Outright lies were leveled again and again and the Republican “leadership” did nothing to shut the Birthers, Death Panel blatherers up.

    A lunatic “Tea Party” was largely a reaction of white people unable to stomach the sight of a black man smarter than them sitting in the White House. That black man is leading our country out of a failed economy and also had the will and guts to kill our sworn enemy.


  8. HappyinVT

    I’m taking a tour around the Internet while work…works.  I ended up at Frank Schaeffer’s place and I must say he’s no holds barred.

    If Religion Kills America There Will Be No Resurrection (Happy Easter!)

    How is it possible that a significant portion of the American population believes or says it believes, that President Obama was not born in America, that Donald Trump would make a great president, that Sarah Palin is fit to lead our country, that Michele Bachman is telling the truth, that health care for all means “Death Panels” etc., etc., ad nauseam?

    Put it this way: being ignorant in America is now considered a virtue.

    Amongst other reasons blame American-style religion.

    As I point out in my new book (Sex, Mom and God) it takes hard work, years of religious indoctrination, the failure of public education and the fulfillment of Neil Postman’s prophecy about “entertaining ourselves to death” to get a country to the point where a Glenn Beck or Donald Trump is not simply laughed (or scorned) off the national stage by an informed public that knows that village idiots belong on lonely street corners howling at the moon, not on talk shows taking the rest of us with them.

    That posts continues and is worth the read.

  9. HappyinVT

    Donald Trump has had one of the quickest rises and falls in the history of Presidential politics. Last month we found him leading the Republican field with 26%. In the space of just four weeks he’s dropped all the way down to 8%, putting him in a tie for fifth place with Ron Paul.

    Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney are at the top of the GOP race with 19% and 18% respectively. Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin are further back at 13% and 12%, followed by Trump and Paul at 8%, Michele Bachmann at 7%, and Tim Pawlenty at 5%.


    One thing is clear, however.  18 months before the 2012 election the GOP has no clear frontrunner.  That cannot be a good thing.

  10. HappyinVT

    After decades of debate, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) on Tuesday struck down a barrier to ordaining gays, ratifying a proposal that removes the celibacy requirement for unmarried clergy, in the latest mainline Protestant move toward accepting gay relationships.

    The change was endorsed last year by the Presbyterian national assembly, but required approval by a majority of the denomination’s 173 presbyteries, or regional church bodies.

    Before Tuesday, the vote stood at 86-62 in favor of change. The Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area, based in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn., cast the key 87th vote needed for a majority in support of ratification came during a meeting Tuesday night. So far, 62 presbyteries have voted against the measure.

  11. Shaun Appleby

    It’s zombie candidate time again:

    “It seems to me that we need to take bits and pieces of each candidate and build that super candidate. If the GOP is going to win this campaign we probably need a new fresh face that appeals to and invigorates the younger population of voters. I want a statesman, I want someone who puts the U.S. back into the lead role globally, I want someone who shuts down government spending, I want someone who is pure and does what is best for the country, not lobbyists.”

    State (Iowa) Rep. Josh Byrnes – The Arena Politico 10 May 11

    Yeah, but try not to terrify them at first sight.

  12. DTOzone

    so this made me sneeze for an hour.

    This is from a Wash Post article that said the President’s approval ratings jumped to 60!!!!%.

    “I’m very concerned” about the country, says Susan Demarest in Snellville, Ga., 56, who didn’t support the Democrat last time and won’t this time. “I’m in my 50s and I worry that I’m not going to be able to retire at a reasonable age and enjoy the end of my life because of Medicare and Social Security and the debt of the country.”

    I won’t be able to retire at a reasonable age BECAUSE OF MEDICARE AND SOCIAL SECURITY.

    Come again!?!?!  

  13. HappyinVT


    “The show [Celebrity Apprentice] this weekend [part one of the finale] was taped back in November, and next week’s episode is also taped,” [NBC publicist Sharon] Pannozzo said. “So there will be no opportunity for him [The Donald] to do something like that.”


  14. HappyinVT

    The Apprentice/Celebrity Apprentice franchise is “on the bubble” as far as NBC is concerned.

    Meanwhile, Football Night in America and Sunday Night Football will be back for at least one more season.

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