Friday Reads

Good Morning!

I guess Dakinikat told you about what happened to me. I did some yard work on Monday and had a terrible allergic reaction to something–probably poison oak, judging from the pictures on the internet. My nephews and I were cutting down a bush that had other weeds entwined in it, but the boys didn’t have any reactions. I looked at these Cream Reviews to see which ones I could use for the rash and all of them were very promising so I got 3 of them.

I’ve gotten this rash before in my mother’s yard, but this time it was much worse than I’ve ever experienced. It started on my left inner arm where I was holding things to cut. Soon it was on my right arm, and next all over my face and neck. I had huge hives under each eye. I even have it on my eyelids! My face is completely red and it has spread into my ears, behind my ears, the back of my neck, my outer arms, hands, and upper arms.

I tried to treat it with Benedryl and anti-itch creams, but yesterday I felt so sick that I went to an urgent care clinic where they gave me Prednisone. I took the first dose yesterday, but the stuff is still spreading and I have new hives on my arms this morning. I’m taking Allegra, and the doctor told me to take 50 mg of Benedryl every six hours on top of that. So please send me some good vibes, and thanks for your sympathetic comments yesterday. I hope you’ll understand if this post isn’t too fancy.

Now for some news:

Bobby Jindal continues to be a dick about the SCOTUS same sex marriage decision. As of Wednesday night, he was still refusing to recognize gay marriages in Louisiana. First he claimed that he needed to wait for a lower court ruling; and when that court told him to allow marriage equality, he said he still had to wait for a another court decision. That kind of bigoted might work in Southern states and maybe Iowa, but I don’t think it will go over too well in New Hampshire.

coffee house

The Times-Pickayune reports that as of today, the Bobby Jindal administration will start issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in downtown New Orleans.

New Orleans is finally allowed to join the rest of Louisiana and issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Following a court ruling ordering it to do so, Gov. Bobby Jindal‘s administration agreed Thursday (July 2) afternoon to allow the state Department of Vital Records in downtown New Orleans to issue the marriage licenses. Every other marriage license office in the state began doing so earlier this week.

“Today the Eastern District Court of Louisiana ordered the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples who complete a marriage application at the Department’s Office of Vital Records in Orleans Parish,” said Olivia Hwang, spokeswoman for the agency on Thursday afternoon.

Orleans Parish is the only place where a state agency — not a court clerk — is in charge of authorizing marriage documents.  So, unlike elsewhere in the state, Jindal had more control in Orleans over the issuing of marriage licenses. Same-sex couples who wanted to be married in Orleans were having to travel to the 2nd City Court in Algiers for a license this week.

The administration was forced to relent following Thursday’s U.S. District Court ruling that struck down the state’s same-sex marriage ban. The district court was responding to the decision made by the U.S. Supreme Court last week to recognize same-sex marriage in all 50 states.

Is there a bigger asshole on earth than Bobby Jindal? Come to think of it, he has lots of competition among the GOP presidential candidates. Case in point, Donald Trump.


CNN: Trump defends inflammatory comments, asks ‘Who is doing the raping?’

Businessman Donald Trump continued his verbal attack against illegal immigrants on Wednesday, in an interview on CNN Tonight with Don Lemon.

He has stirred up controversy in recent days for claiming “rapists” and “killers” are migrating over the United States’ southern border. Univision and NBC Universal have cut ties with the businessman, refusing to air the “Miss Universe” pageant he partially owns as a result, and Macy’s announced Wednesday it was also discontinuing his clothing line.

On Wednesday, Trump, who is a Republican presidential candidate, told Lemon he was pulling his facts from a Fusion article.

“Well if you look at the statistics of people coming, you look at the statistics on rape, on crime, on everything coming in illegally into this country it’s mind-boggling!” he told Lemon, in a clip previewed on CNN’s “Situation Room.”

“If you go to Fusion, you will see a story: About 80% of the women coming in, you know who owns Fusion? Univision! Go to Fusion and pick up the stories on rape. It’s unbelievable when you look at what’s going on. So all I’m doing is telling the truth,” Trump said.

Lemon replied that the press stories are about women being raped, but not about criminals coming across the border.

“Well, somebody’s doing the raping, Don! I mean somebody’s doing it! Who’s doing the raping? Who’s doing the raping?” he asked.


At the National Journal, Lauren Fox asks, Why Is Donald Trump Polling So Well?

Macy’s is ditching him, NBC has let him go, and Univision refuses to broadcast his famed beauty pageant. But American voters are still entertaining the idea of President Donald Trump.

In a Republican presidential field rich with esteemed governors and senators, tough-talking businessman Trump has managed to rise in the polls to be a top-tier candidate even after he elicited controversy for his statements about Mexican immigrants during his campaign announcement.

A CNN/ORC poll released Wednesday showed Trump had 12 percent of the vote among Republicans and Republican-leaners, second only to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who earned 19 percent. A Quinnipiac poll, which was also out Wednesday, revealed Trump was also tied for second with Dr. Ben Carson among likely Republican caucus voters in Iowa. Carson and Trump each had 10 percent of the vote. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker led the pack with 18 percent.

Fox writes that “so many qualified Republican presidential contenders out there, Trump’s rise is not expected to last.” I wonder who these GOP candidates she thinks are so “qualified”?


The media mavens are all excited because Bernie Sanders is attracting big crowds. From The Christian Science Monitor: Support swells for Bernie Sanders, he attracts biggest crowd to date (+video).

Presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I) of Vermont joined the Democratic race for the White House as a long shot, but he continues gaining momentum since he first emerged as Hillary Clinton’s biggest primary challenger.

The self-described “democratic socialist” has been gaining ground on the front-runner in Iowa, an important early marker of primary success. His support has more than doubled since May, with 33 percent of Democratic caucus-goers in the state favoring the Vermont senator, compared with 52 percent for Clinton, according to a new Quinnipiac poll.

A stop in Wisconsin on Wednesday garnered his biggest crowd to date, with 10,000 people packing the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Madison.

I don’t know why anyone is surprised that Sanders has some strong support in Madison, Wisconsin, but good for him.



From ABC News: How Bernie Sanders Is Attracting Monster Crowds (and Whether Hillary Should Be Worried).

The event [in Madison] was not an anomaly either. In June, 5,500 people came out to see Sen. Sanders in Denver, Colorado. In May, another 3,500 people attended a rally in Minneapolis, Minnesota, for Sanders. And approximately 5,000 people gathered in April in his hometown of Burlington, Vermont, for his campaign launch, roughly the same number who attended frontrunner Hillary Clinton’s campaign kickoff event in New York City.

“Also impressive,” Briggs added, “In Rochester, Minnesota, this morning — on a Thursday morning — we had 600 people for an hour-long town hall meeting,” The list of these smaller, but still relatively impressively well-attended events goes on and on. In the end of May, 300 people turned up for an event for Sanders in Kensett, Iowa, a rural town where only around 240 people live.

The campaign gauges interest in upcoming events based on RSVPs through their website and has had to change venues on more than one occasion based on a large number of people signed up to attend. It has already changed its venue for an event in Portland, Maine, on Monday, where the campaign expects more than 5,000 people to attend.

All this buzz is translating to movement in the polls, too. According to a Quinnipiac poll out today, the independent Vermont senator now trails Clinton (52–33 percent) among likely Democratic Iowa caucus goers. And in New Hampshire, WMUR has Sanders within eight points of Clinton (43-35), when just two months ago a previous poll there had him down by over 20 points.

Sanders does not have a PAC and he says he does not want donations from corporations. Still, according to a note out from the campaign today, he has raised an impressive $15 million since launching his campaign on April 30. They say that total comes from 250,000 individual donors, with the average donation size around $33 dollars.

I don’t want to hear any of these Sanders fans complaining about Hillary Clinton’s age. He’s 73 and she’s 67. BTW, Jim Webb, who announce his candidacy yesterday if 69. Has anyone remarked on how old he is?


Meanwhile, Hillary raised a stunning $45 million in primary money over the first quarter. From The Washington Post: Here’s just how impressive Hillary Clinton’s $45 million haul is, by Philip Bump.

Hillary Clinton’s team teased its first fundraising numbers on Tuesday, suggesting that the campaign had pulled in over $45 million from April to June. That’s a lot of money by “normal American” standards. It’s also a lot of money by “presidential primary candidate” standards.

First, some perspective. If I handed you a dollar bill every second, starting at midnight on April 1, you wouldn’t have $45 million until September. If I handed you a $5 bill every second — you still wouldn’t have as much as Clinton raised by the time July 1 rolled around.

According to the Federal Election Commission, Clinton’s quarterly total is the highest for a non-incumbent in the year before an election. She even raised more than two of the three quarters Barack Obama was fundraising as an incumbent president in 2011.

Check out some charts at the WaPo link.

What else is happening? Please post your thoughts and links in the comment thread and have a great Fourth of July weekend!


65 Comments on “Friday Reads”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    Scott Brown has really hit the skids. He has become a pitchman for some weight loss pyramid scheme.

    Boston Globe: Salesman Brown pursues a weight-loss constituency.

    It was not the sight of their former senator bare-chested that shocked Scott Brown’s Facebook followers.

    They were used to that.

    It was the sales pitch accompanying the before-and-after photos of his physique, crediting his recent, dramatic weight loss to a commercial nutrition and fitness plan.

    Brown’s testament to the merits of AdvoCare’s “24-day challenge” was met with so many guffaws that within two hours, he posted another note, saying he is not a paid spokesman for the supplement company.

    What he didn’t explain is that he’s a salesman.

    On Thursday, an AdvoCare spokeswoman confirmed that the former US senator is one of the company’s 580,000 independent distributors.

  2. joanelle says:

    Hope the Prednisone will kick in and you’ll be feeling better soon

    • bostonboomer says:

      Thanks, Joanelle.

      • RalphB says:

        If you haven’t taken prednisone before, be careful of it. It’s my only known drug allergy. I took it for a couple of days and had a horrible psychotic reaction to it. I was either on the verge of or in a full fledged panic attack for two days. It was absolutely horrible thinking I couldn’t breathe. Yuck.

        • NW Luna says:

          Sounds awful! Yes, there is a well-known but rare adverse effect called steroid psychosis possible with any of the steroids. A short temporary course of something like Valium helps. You should have been counseled about it; at least I do if I have to prescribe steroids for an acute inflammatory attack. Insomnia is a far more common reaction, but BB, if you’re taking Benadryl, which is sedating, that may counteract it. Some people will get irritable, or have lots of energy. Most don’t have a problem, but I always want them to call if anything seems weird.

          • RalphB says:

            The Dallas Poison Control Center told my then wife about it when it happened. She called them because it was late at night and she couldn’t get me in the car to drive to the ER. 🙂

            That episode somehow rewired me a bit. Before it I was not claustrophobic at all but afterward I have been. Really strange.

          • bostonboomer says:

            Benedryl usually knocks me out, but I must be so hyper from the allergy attack that it isn’t affecting me that way. It does help with the itching quite a bit.

          • janicen says:

            That’s interesting. Many years ago a doctor prescribed prednisone to me and after the first dose my heart was racing and something happened to my vision to the point that I couldn’t read words on the page. They seemed jumbled and fuzzy. I just stopped taking it. I know you’re not supposed to do that but nothing could make me take the next dose. I saw a different doctor in the practice (my regular one) and he prescribed a muscle relaxer for the pain in my neck and shoulder I had been experiencing. That worked like a charm and I’ve never taken a steroid since.

          • Beata says:

            Prednisone caused my mother to have a psychotic episode. After seeing what it did to her, I would never take it. But I know other people who have used it with no serious side effects.

            I hope you feel better soon, BB. It’s good that you are with family this weekend. Please take care.

        • NW Luna says:

          Oh, they told you about it after it happened. Sigh. Brainwise, that was a truly threatening experience, so it’s not surprising that one could develop a reaction of claustrophobia or something similar. If the claustrophobia gets in the way, there are non-pharmaceutical interventions of basically desensitizing yourself in the presence of triggers. Rather like a mild version of therapy used for PTSD. Takes practice but can be helpful.

          • RalphB says:

            I’ll keep that in mind. In order to get an MRI without drugs, I have to be in one of the larger, more open, machines. The smaller machines freak me out before the MRI can complete.

          • NW Luna says:

            If I have claustrophobic patients who need a closed MRI, I prescribe them 1 or 2 doses of a short-acting benzodiazepine such as lorazepam, to take ~45 min ahead of time. Then someone needs to drive them home after the scan. Lasts about 4-6 hrs. Valium I don’t like — its half life is about 60-90 hrs. But something short-acting once in a while is not a problem. I figure if I have tools to make it easier for patients, why not? I don’t like getting stuffed into one of those sarcophagus-type things myself!

          • Beata says:

            My doctors usually prescribe Lorazepam rather than Valium to be taken one hour before an MRI. They need to be closed machines for brain tumor scans. Lorazepam works a little bit but MRIs of the brain last a long time. I have them done without contrast first, then with contrast. They are also very noisy like jackhammers to my head. I’m not allowed to use earplugs or listen to music. So even with Lorazepam, MRIs are torture. I am absolutely terrified of them now. I think I need stronger medication beforehand but I don’t know what it would be.

          • NW Luna says:

            Beata, in that case you would need a stronger dose of the lorazepam, or sedation through an IV. Usually there’s an IV for contrast for brain MRIs. I had a couple of patients who needed IV sedation for their brain MRIs. And if they’re doing a C-spine too they can take forever. You really shouldn’t have to endure through it if it’s awful for you. Talk with your providers about it. If they don’t understand and offer you something better, I’d look for another provider. We are supposed to make it easier for patients if we can.

          • Beata says:

            Thank you, Luna. I recently refused to have another brain MRI because I just can’t handle it. They are at least three hours of pure terror. I always get an IV for the contrast but no one has ever suggested using it for sedation too. I will ask my doctors about it.

        • bostonboomer says:

          I remember you writing about that before. So far the Presnisone seems to be helping, but if I notice anything weird I’ll get back to the clinic right away.

          • Riverbird says:

            I’m glad it’s helping. Do be alert for emotional over-reactions. Many years ago, after my husband was given prednisone to help with a poison oak reaction, he began crying when I handed him a cup of coffee. This was not like him, to say the least, and when I asked what was wrong he said I didn’t love him anymore because the cup had not been full to the brim. At that point we both realized something was wrong, so he got in touch with the doctor and learned prednisone can affect one’s emotions. (Kind of scary that the doctor hadn’t warned him before prescribing, as my husband was a federal law enforcement officer who carried a gun!)

  3. Chris Fitzhugh says:

    Hope you are feeling better.

  4. janicen says:

    It’s my understand that each exposure to the sort of allergen to which you reacted gets worse and worse so no more messing around it that yard, bb. I think calamine lotion provides some relief. You can get in on Amazon.

    I’m really sorry that you are suffering through this. I hope it passes soon.

    • NW Luna says:

      Sometimes repeat exposure results in more severe reactions, but alternatively repeat exposure can be desensitizing. I used to swell up at bee-sting sites but then had less and less of a reaction when I kept honeybees and got stung occasionally. Mosquito bites, however — I don’t seem to be getting any less sensitive to those!

      • janicen says:

        When my nephew is exposed to poison ivy the reaction gets worse each time. The doctor told him after the last time he should go straight to an ER if he gets exposed again.

      • gregoryp says:

        That doesn’t apply to Poison Ivy, Oak or Sumac which has an oil called urushiol that when it penetrates the skin causes our immune system to over react and causes the itchy rash. It is basically a positive feedback loop and gets worse every time you get the condition. None of us are born with a sensitivity to urushiol; however, the more we come into contact with it the more likely we will be to start having problems. Once you do get it every subsequent infection usually gets worse. My wife has to get shots every time. I can usually minimize my problems because I just wash with soap and water really well any time I work near the stuff and then if any red bumps appear I immediately use calamine lotion which stops the oil in its tracks. Sometimes I have to take benadryl which does work well but not always. The key is not to scratch and spread the oil because your bodies immune system is attacking anything that is marked as “foreign”. But with this particular illness you cannot be desensitized like you can with many of the venoms. This works more like catching a virus, getting sick and then recovering but then the next time you come into contact with the virus your system already has the antibodies in place and just ramps up the attack. Well, that works great against foreign invaders but when your body is attacking its own cells it can get really bad.

        • NW Luna says:

          It triggers a histamine response, which is what causes the swelling and redness. Yes, washing with soap and water can wash off the urushiol. But if the elevate histamine response is triggered, then even a gentle scratching of the skin can trigger swelling and redness as histamine is produced, even if there is no urushiol at that spot.

          • ANonOMouse says:

            Oh, BB. my heart goes out to you. I know exactly how miserable you feel.

            The running joke about me in my family is that all I have to do is be downwind of poison ivy, to break out. I got it repeatedly as a child from roaming through the woods and the brush. I had to go to the ER several times in my youth. In my adult life I have exposed myself to poison ivy, oak and sumac by romping down riverbanks on my way to a fishing hole. Even as an adult I ended up at the ER a couple of times. Needless to say, I no longer romp through the woods or down the banks of rivers, but I’m always very careful working in the yard and I know what it looks like, which helps. My best advice is to wear gloves, long sleeves and long pants when weeding or working in an area that you’re unfamiliar with. Always shower when you finish, especially cleaning your face, arms and hands well. None of the rashes from poison ivy, oak or sumac are things to be taken lightly. And calamine lotion, which someone suggested earlier in the thread, is great for calming it and helping it to heal. You can buy calamine at any pharmacy.

            Hope you get better soon BB and as always I’m sending good vibes your way.

    • roofingbird says:

      Your mom needs a rent-a-goat.

  5. janicen says:

    I still think at least some of the turnout for Sanders is from Republicans trying to organize some resistance to Clinton. As well, you have the Obama supporters who only really supported him because they didn’t want Clinton to win. I know two of them personally. Rabid Obama supporters who just can’t warm up to Clinton. Right. So now they are pretending to prefer Sanders. I’m seeing some Sanders supporters revealing their sexism in supporting anyone but Clinton. It’s a distraction, but it needs to get tamped down before it becomes a thing. The debates can’t come soon enough for me.

    • Sweet Sue says:

      Janicen, it’s not that they don’t want a woman President, just not that woman!
      You know, the one that can win.;)

    • RalphB says:

      Some Sanders supporters on twitter are just like the Ron Paul fans of yore, plumb nutz. The more rabid Obamabots were just as bad though.

      • janicen says:

        Oh yeah. The one guy I know on FB really exposed himself when I challenged him on Sanders. I always thought of him as a lefty and that’s how we bonded but the more I drilled in, the weirder he got. Cool thing is that he turned off some of the people who were starting to listen to him about Sanders, especially when he started rambling about not liking Jon Stewart anymore because Stewart didn’t probe into the 9/11 “investigation”. One dude said, “Uh, 9/11 investigation?” but never got an answer. That’s when you saw a lot of followers fade away.

      • Beata says:

        Some of Sanders’ supporters may be nuts, but unlike Ron Paul, Sanders isn’t. I have always liked him.

  6. Sweet Sue says:

    BB, what an ordeal; I’m so sorry and I hope you see and feel rapid improvement soon.
    My husband is wildly allergic to poison ivy, so I know how bad and systemic those reactions can be.
    Your PCP may have to up the prednisone.
    You are being very brave.

  7. Prolix says:

    Hope you are feeling better BB. That just sounds awful.

  8. RalphB says:

    Looks like all these Republican governors are a bunch of narcissistic shitheads! Color me unsurprised. Ohio Gov. John Kasich runs the risk of being perceived as a jerk

    Kasich is many things. Normal isn’t one of them.

    In fact, as Kasich prepares to run for president, expect more people to suggest in public what many who know him have been whispering in private for years.
    Indelicate though it may be, it’s a question worth asking:

    Is John Kasich too big a jerk to be president?

    • NW Luna says:

      Hahahaha! A Republican is a jerk? And they just found this out?

    • Beata says:

      I thought being a big jerk was a standard requirement for GOP presidential candidates. So how enormous can “too big a jerk” be? The mind boggles.

  9. roofingbird says:

    I don’t know what level prednisone you were prescribed, but be sure and taper off. A withdrawal reaction of that stuff can be bad as well. I don’t know how you are together enough to type a word today.

    • NW Luna says:

      A short course does not need a taper. If the steroids are used medium or long-term, then yes, definitely a taper.

      • bostonboomer says:

        The instructions say to take 3 tablets for the for the first 4 days, 2 for the next 3 days, and 1 for the final 3 days.

        I have taken steroids with no problems in the past for a very bad ear infection.

    • Fannie says:

      Yes, that’s was I remember prednisone, tapering off. I guess everybody reacts differently to steroids.

      • NW Luna says:

        People are individuals, not machines. It infuriates me that so many prescribers don’t discuss what might happen — common and not significant reactions and especially the rare but serious reactions. And emphasize to call with any questions. We want to know about any reactions. But I’m an NP and our philosophy is to do lots of counseling on meds, or any other prescribed intervention.

        BB, I hope your skin is calming down.

  10. dakinikat says:

    Donald Trump says all the things Republicans hint at with dog whistles. He’s just saying them out loud without all the code words. The base is probably just jumping for joy over the obviousness of the xenophobia, racism, and misogyny because that’s what they really want to hear. Also, it’s really obvious that Rich Republicans still continue to never actually do what they say. Their base never punishes them for not living out the rhetoric.

    • Pat Johnson says:

      Precisely. Remember when one of Hillary supporters suggested that Ann Romney never worked a day in her life? The Right went ballistic and she was forced to apologize by Wolf Blitzer.

      She then disappeared from CNN as a political consultant for years.

    • roofingbird says:

      If you are going to be an ass, be out loud and proud. Then complain that it’s your critics that have ended the “girls” chance to be Miss USA.

  11. Pat Johnson says:

    Asking “is there a bigger asshole” then Bobby Jindahl is like asking which one of the Kardashian/Jenner Circus Family is the “smarter”. You just have no idea where to begin.

    Hope you begin to feel better soon as that itching can drive a person nuts!

  12. Fannie says:

    Sorry to hear of your exposure to poison oak BB. It’s the season for it. It’s horrible, years ago I ended up with it, and was miserable.

    Last Monday I went to the river with my Chessie. All of a sudden a honey bee got me on my heel. I didn’t have my purse with me, and turned to get back to the car, and get some Benadryl. The swelling started right up, and I was off my foot for 2 days, itching was too much. Come to think about that, 2 different trucks turned over, with millions of bees. Might have been some angry damn bees. I really have to watch bee stings, and have an epipen.

    All I remember about steroids is that I was hungry all the time. Thanks for putting up the posts today BB. Take care.

    • Beata says:

      I had a very serious reaction to a hornet sting on my foot a few years ago. Face and throat swelled up. Had never had that kind of reaction before. Since we have a lot of hornets around here, I need to ask my doctor for an epipen. I have been meaning to do that but keep forgetting. Thanks for the reminder, Fannie. I’m glad you are okay after your bee sting.

      • Fannie says:

        Yes, have one, it could be a lifesaver. The allergist says I can go through treatment program for year, and get the venom shots. I am considering it.

        Poison Oak, is horrible. Someone had the shingles, and I fear for that.

      • NW Luna says:

        2nding! Beata, definitely, and please, get an epipen! Just call and request one since it should be on your record that you have that facial/throat swelling.

  13. BB? Are you feeling any better?