November 21, 2008

Mukasey collapse was nothing but a fainting spell.

Great news. But now let's talk about whether it's a little strange. What kind of man faints while getting overemotional and passionate in the middle of "prais[ing] the administration for 'nothing less than a fundamental reorganization of our government' after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and blast[ing] the relentless critics of the very policies that have kept us safe'"?

65 comments:

Darcy said...

Hmm...not sure you can attribute the fainting to getting overly emotional, so "what kind of man?" is a little disrespectful, I think.

I'd like to hear a doctor's take on this question.

bill said...

emedicinehealth.com: fainting has many causes

AntonK said...

"What kind of man faints..."

Ann, I think you're confusing the feminine type of 'hysterical' fainting that women frequently suffer from, with what is almost certainly a medical condition-type fainting episode that the AG experienced.

Meade said...

Maybe a little bit of a pretzel went down the wrong pipe.

Doyle said...

What kind of man faints while getting overemotional and passionate

What is he? Some kind of fag?

Seriously, Ann. That's how this reads.

Ann Althouse said...

Unlike you, Doyle, I don't think of gay men as weak. I haven't seen that in the gay men I know and I don't appreciate that offensive stereotype.

Mukasey is a man, and I refer to him as a "man" as a matter of writing style. "What kind of person" wouldn't sound right.

Doyle said...

"What kind of person" wouldn't sound right.

Neither does "What kind of man." What the hell are you talking about?

Marcia said...

"the feminine type of 'hysterical' fainting that women frequently suffer from"

Anton, I think you're confusing Victorian-era dismissiveness with what is most often an undiagnosed medical condition.

PatCA said...

I read somewhere it was the hot lights, too, so maybe it was not the words themselves.

I also read someone yelled "tyrant" (don't these people have a life?) so maybe he was anticipating a pie or an attack from the audience. He's still a bit new. He'll get used to it.

Theo Boehm said...

I agree with Darcy, bill and Anton. I think this has everything to do with physiology and not much with psychology.

The answer to, "What kind of man...?" will no doubt be along the lines of a man with low blood sugar, or a man with the flu, or a man who is stressed out and not sleeping enough, or a man with low blood pressure, or a man who had a transient ischemic attack, etc.

It is absurd on its face to impute an attack of the vapours here.

Chip Ahoy said...

What kind of man faints while ...

* being old
* being overworked for a prolonged period of time
* in need of oxygen
* running up a body temperature
* running a blood sugar deficit
* becoming temporarily overwhelmed by the totality of a particular situation, chiefly physical, all converging simultaneously.
* suddenly realizing his tie is too tight and the room is overheated
* having the room filled with the carbon dioxide exhaled by an aggressive unsympathetic crowd.
* being breathed on by dragons.
* in desperate need of electrolytes.
* wearing shoes that are to tight
* suddenly realizing all his incredibly hard work is being viciously attacked by people motivated by pure hatred and that's his whole career has been wholly unappreciated.
* suddenly sunk in despair that his monetary legacy intended for his children will be spent defending himself.
* experiences a sudden mental lapse forgetting entirely what he intended to say to a large group eagerly expecting him to explain himself.
* suddenly imagined himself naked in front of a crowd of well-dressed socialites.
* realizing he left his laptop in the limo.

Marco said...

Obviously not your type of man, Ann. I mean, wasn't that what you used to scream in moments of passion?

Doyle said...

I mean, wasn't that what you used to scream in moments of passion?

Like when people bring up Jessica Valenti?

Pogo said...

More likely some undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, or a fragment of an underdone potato.

David said...

What kind of woman puts down her toolbox in orbit and lets it drift away?

A law partner of mine--young and fit--collapsed in the middle of a closing a few years (decades?) ago. He was simply exhausted by work.

My father fainted when he was 16 years old while performing under hot stage lights. This prevented him from being a pilot during WW II, despite his seeking medical waivers as far as the system would allow. He never fainted again, but maybe this saved his life.

Anyway, it's good that the old bird is ok.

Ann Althouse said...

Something makes me think Meade's idea of "moments of passion" is radically different from Doyle's.

Meade said...

Oh! Shall I creatively digress? It is Friday after all.

Eric Muller said...

"What kind of man faints while getting overemotional and passionate...?"

Ann, one doesn't need to be the sort who believes that carrots are penises and onion rings are vaginas to believe that your phrasing may reflect a little something going on beneath the surface.

Simon said...

Ann Althouse said...
"Something makes me think Meade's idea of 'moments of passion' is radically different from Doyle's."

I was just thinking something like that... LOL

laura said...

He probably wasn't feeling well, walking into this little swarray. If it wasn't a "House"-type undiagnosed conditions or a stroke, he may be the "show must go on" type. Sometimes the body just gives out and says "Enough!" no matter how much we think we can control things (comments based on long-time familial observations).

Simon said...

Judge Sykes is at the conference, too, you know. Perhaps General Mukasey's eye alighted on her, taking away his breath and leaving his heart aflutter.

I can understand that reaction.

Simon said...

laura said...
"He probably wasn't feeling well, walking into this little swarray."

LOL. I think you mean soirée.

Robert Cook said...

Perhaps it was simply a fainting spell, brought on by low blood pressure or low blood sugar, maybe, or "exhaustion," (usually a euphemism for drug or alcohol intoxication when reported about celebrities by hosptital spokespersons), but if it's true, as was reported, that Mukasey kept repeating one word several times before collapsing, I'd guess he had a stroke.

As this administration is reflexively dishonest and secretive, I'll assume they're lying about Mukasey's actual condition until external corroboration proves otherwise.

Pogo said...

Old people drop over all the time, for lotsa reasons, passion included. It's hell to get old.

Viagra and its cousins, like a million other medications, can cause acute drops in blood pressure. Not the case here, I hope, although some after-Federalist Society action being high on anyone's favorite fantasy list.

Meade said...

Meade: Onion rings -- yum!

Doyle: Onion rings -- ick! Is there no one looking out for me?

Meade: Watch your step there, Doyle, LOOK OUT FOR THE VOR...

Simon (staring at the swirl): Which poor sucker was that? Doyle? What did you do?

Meade: There was nothing any of us could do.

bill said...

Eric Muller said...
"What kind of man faints while getting overemotional and passionate...?"

Ann, one doesn't need to be the sort who believes that carrots are penises and onion rings are vaginas to believe that your phrasing may reflect a little something going on beneath the surface.



I think the simpler answer is that this is a trolling post and she threw some bait in the water to see how it went over.

Yachira said...

"...and she threw some bait in the water to see how it went over."

Yes, Ann does chum the water every once in a while. This is likely one of those instances.

Palladian said...

""What kind of man faints while getting overemotional and passionate...?"

Ann, one doesn't need to be the sort who believes that carrots are penises and onion rings are vaginas to believe that your phrasing may reflect a little something going on beneath the surface."

This coming from a man who has a picture of a little fluffy white dog at the head of his blog. Muller probably faints when he thinks about Barack Obama's thighs.

Palladian said...

Are we sure Mukasey didn't have a feinting spell?

Eric said...

Robert Cook has it right. They're most likely lying.

Host with the Most said...

So Ann,

Are you going to update your attempt to show I was wrong about the left and their response to Mukasey?

You wrote:

I checked Daily Kos, . . . There are 80 comments over there now, and they are completely respectful.

But as commenter Big Mike says there:

I was going to point out that there are now about 400 comments posted on Kos and the tone of many, perhaps most, of them really are pretty nasty. Not that I'd want Ann Althouse readers to drop everything and go over there.

But now I see that we've got a nasty little exchange going on right here. Note for Michael and antiphone: yes, there really are people on your side of the argument who hate George W. Bush with such a blind, unreasoning, passion that they'd cheerfully watch the entire country go down the tubes if only they can figure out a way to blame Bush. I disagree with you, Mr. Lee. The level of jerkiness is not equally balanced.



So Ann, I was ahead of the curve. Seems to me the only fair thing to do is to update that post and show it.

Thank you.

dualdiagnosis said...

A weak one? Is that what you're looking for?

Palladian said...

"Robert Cook has it right. They're most likely lying."

Wow, it hasn't even been 24 hours and already the dickless wonder crowd has started a MUKASEY STROKE TRUTH movement.

former law student said...

Do people start slurring their words as part of a fainting spell?

I'm thinking TIA, as Boehm mentioned.

Pogo said...

Bush should do a 'Paul is Dead' thingy, and replace Mukasey with a lookalike.

And then should record a live album.

Palladian said...

"Do people start slurring their words as part of a fainting spell?"

If they're giving a speech and slowly lose consciousness, then it seems likely.

Pogo said...

"Do people start slurring their words as part of a fainting spell?"

Yes. Headless chickens notwithstanding, continuous blood flow is an unfortunate requirement for proper brain function. Its lack, such as in a simple faint, can induce all sorts of manifestations, including slurring, staring, what appears to be a seizure, but is not.

The truth will out. Don't be a buzzard about it. Licking your chops in anticipation of a felled conservative on the eve of a Democrat orgy is really gauche.

Invisible Man said...

Are you going to update your attempt to show I was wrong about the left and their response to Mukasey?

Concern trolls are so precious. I bet you have Daily Kos on refresh to find some random poster who says something untoward. Why can't people realize that each party has some assholes? People on this blog had some good laughs at Obama's grandmother death, but I'm not so simple minded to spend my day attributing that sentiment to Ann and other non-assholes.

On a general note, I'm glad the AG is ok.

Chris Wren said...

People do faint for a variety of reasons. Maybe he didn't eat the box of raisins that got packed with his lunch that day. Or he glimpsed an uncovered table leg in the hall.

Host with the Most said...

Invisible Man,

I've been commenting here for over 3 years, just like you - I'm no troll. A troll is someone who comes here to stir up trouble. If I call some out on their hypocrisy - which they demonstrate first - that's not the work of a troll.

And no, both sides, left and right, are NOT equal in their despicable attitudes on this issue. Wake up to reality.

vnjagvet said...

Most 67 year olds are not giving speeches at 10:00 PM after a long day at work. Add a cocktail or a glass of wine or two, and it would not take much "passion" to precipitate a fainting spell in a hot, crowded hotel assembly area.

I suspect that is all it was after seeing him leave the hospital.

And with only two more months in office, he probably doesn't give a damn about what anyone thinks.

former law student said...

[Blood flow's] lack, such as in a simple faint, can induce all sorts of manifestations, including slurring, staring, what appears to be a seizure, but is not.

Thank you pogo. The only time I saw someone faint, they just crumpled.

former law student said...

But pogo, according to emedicinehealth.com, linked by bill:

Transient ischemic attack (TIA or mini-stroke) can cause fainting, usually preceded by double vision, loss of balance, slurred speech, or vertigo (a spinning sensation).

Sofa King said...

More likely some undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, or a fragment of an underdone potato.

There's certainly more of gravy than of grave about him, whatever it was. ;)

Pogo said...

In faints, it depends on the rate of blood pressure decline. If it falls abruptly, down you go. A slow petering out, like from alcohol plus food plus heat (plus maybe a new rhythm disorder), can leave you at 80-then 70-then 60-then 50 systolic over a sequence of several seconds. You sound like HAL being unplugged.

Daisy, Daisy, give me you...answer ...doooo

Yes, TIAs ("little strokes") can slur speech. So can medications and alcohol and certain seizures. By itself, slurring doesn't exclude or diagnose anything; it's too nonspecific.

That's why my motto is "Wait". Short of death, no one is going to tell the hoi polloi much of anything for a few days. If even then. When you see him next you'll know if it was a stroke. If he's normal, fainting will be their story and they're sticking to it. Since a huge number of TIAs end up as strokes within a year, you might know then.

For the most part I think this is none of my beeswax, other than thinking that aging can really suck.

TitusIAmNotHavingSex said...

He is lucky he was around other people.

When I hear stories about this I always come back to myself.

I am alone all the time.

What if I fainted or had a stroke?

I think the rare clumbers would start eating my body and I would die.

EDH said...

Maybe Mukasey was overwhelmed because Obama walked in the room like those women at campaign rallies?

Pogo said...

More likely some undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, or a fragment of an underdone potato.


"There's more of gravey than of grave in you."

My favorite Scrooge line!

former law student said...

I am alone all the time.

What if I fainted or had a stroke?


Two elderly ladies in a building I once lived in had a deal: one subscribed to the newspaper, and would lay it in front of the other's front door when she was through. If either lady failed to pick it up, or the first lady failed to deposit it, then the other would knock on the door and call an emergency contact.

Their system worked: one day the subscriber had a heart attack, and the other called 911.

The home security companies will give you a panic button to press, but if you're unconscious, there's obviously no way to press it. You could probably work on the principle of the dead man's switch, used by night watchmen: If you don't press a button every hours they send someone over to investigate.

Invisible Man said...

A troll is someone who comes here to stir up trouble.

3, only 3 comments into Ann's first post about the topic you write.

This just in: Bush haters partying at the news.

Instead of finding "partying at the news", its obvious you were in full glorious anticipation of said partying. You, my friend, stirred up concern before their was any reason to be concerned about any nasty comments with the emphasis on the "Concern" part of being a concern troll. This obviously means a lot to you to find some anonymous asshole to make some gross generalization about "the other side", but most people realize that a few Democrats might make nasty comments about the AG, and a few Republicans might make nasty comments about Obama losing his grandmother. But I'm sure you've done a thorough, non-biased, scientific analysis that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that liberals are mean, poop-heads and conservatives are kind, noble, creatures of boundless innocence. I await the presentation of your thesis paper.

Eric Muller said...

More likely some undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, or a fragment of an underdone potato.

Most definitely not some undigested bit of beef and a crumb of cheese.

Or else it was, and this was G-d's punishment.

bill said...

Here's a book recommendation: Interface, a 1994 political satire by Neal Stephenson and George Jewsbury, originally published under the name Stephen Bury.

Politician has a stroke and ends up with a computer chip inside his head so he can instantly respond to public opinion polls. Turns out the chip is being controlled by an Illuminati type organization trying to take over the government. And campaign managers are portrayed as rabid dogs.
Entertaining and very funny. This excerpt isn't funny, but it does set up the premise. This occurs near the front, so it isn't really spoilerish.

He sat down in front of a large high-resolution monitor and began jotting down a few options, as they came into his head. Later, he could rework them into deathless prose:

a. Pull investment out of the U.S. national debt -- absorbing the loss immediately -- and explore new areas, such as purchasing the larger part of the former Soviet Union;
b. Do nothing and hope that the American political structure will muddle through;
c. Intervene directly in American politics in order to return it to a certain sort of stability and to insure our long-term investment in the debt;
d. Suggestions?

The returns came in remarkably quickly. In the aftermath of the President's speech, everyone important was awake right now, regardless of time zone.

With the exception of a few Middle Easterners who wanted the Network to invest massively in the Muslim-dominated republics of the former Soviet Union, most of the Network liked the third option. The clincher was a fax from Lady Wilburdon, the acting chairperson, who noted, "You have done well for us, and we place our trust in you. Put your country back in working order."

The United States had borrowed ten trillion dollars since the onset of Reaganomics. A significant fraction of that debt was now owned by the Network. Those loans were supposed to bring in a certain fixed amount of interest every year. The cap proposed by the President would reduce that income by an amount on the order of a few tens of billions of dollars per year.

In the long run, then, the Network stood to lose hundreds of billions of dollars from the measures that the President had just proposed. Otho was therefore justified in spending real money here -- easily in the tens of billions. This was more than enough to throw an election. Perot had nearly done it for just a few hundred million.

Otho knew perfectly well that his Network was not the only organization of its type in the world, and that he was not the only person running through this sort of calculation tonight.

If the Network planned carefully and wasn't too obvious about it, it could actually erect a system that would enable America's investors to have a permanent say in the management of their assets. The more he thought about it, the more he was convinced that it was a sound decision. He should have done it a long time ago.

The United States of America had served its purpose. It was time to cash her in. Like a big creaky old corporation, her individual parts, intelligently liquidated, were worth more than the whole. Under new, fiscally responsible management, she could still perform well, pay her debts, and provide a tolerable standard of living for her citizens. Otho needed to make sure that that management was provided by the Network and not by one of the other entities with which the Network competed.

Christy said...

My aged mom collapsed at an August family reunion 3 years ago. They kept her in the hospital for 4 days testing her from head to foot and could find no cause for the faint. Still, we've changed the reunion to June and now bring in industrial sized fans for this outdoor event.

Lord help me! I agree with Doyle. I'm going to go sit in my snow covered garden and eat worms now. If I can find any. How far underground do they go when it's freezing?

AlphaLiberal said...

What kind of man faints while getting overemotional and passionate in the middle of "prais[ing] the administration for 'nothing less than a fundamental reorganization of our government' after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and blast[ing] the relentless critics of the very policies that have kept us safe'"?

Frankly, one telling a series of bloody lies under great stress. I think he knew he was telling a bunch of fibs, was disgracing himself and his family name and was overwhelmed by it all.

Like defending the detention of innocent people in Gulag Gitmo.

Simon said...

AlphaLiberal said...
"I think he knew he was telling a bunch of fibs, was disgracing himself and his family name and was overwhelmed by it all."

This from an anonymous coward whose stock in trade is hatred, exaggeration, distortion and outright lies.

Simon said...

Eric Muller said...
"Or else it was, and this was G-d's punishment."

The almighty, when He has need for wrath, has better weapons at his disposal than an undigested bit of beef or a crumb of cheese, Eric.

AlphaLiberal said...

More ad hominem, Simon? Your stock in trade. You can't win arguments on the merits, so you sling bile.

Look, the guy was defending the administration's record the day after a judge said 5 innocent people must be released from Gitmo. Where one of them died, most have been kept in intense isolation, and who knows what (it's a secret, of course) other torture has been done to them.

And these victims of Bush-Cheney policies did nothing to us.

And, I'm giving Mukaskey credit for having a conscience, in case that's not obvious. Glad he's okay.

AlphaLiberal said...

Simon waxes arrogantly:
The almighty, when He has need for wrath, has better weapons at his disposal than an undigested bit of beef or a crumb of cheese, Eric.

WTF? Did He just tell you that?

And, do you have the slightest bit of remorse for the innocent people who have been held in Gitmo lo these past 7 years?

That is, do you have a soul?

dualdiagnosis said...

Tell us Host with the Most, did you send AlphaLiberal over here?

LOL! Good job.

Eric Muller said...

Meat with milk, Simon. Meat with milk. A big no-no.

Ann Althouse said...

"Ann, one doesn't need to be the sort who believes that carrots are penises and onion rings are vaginas to believe that your phrasing may reflect a little something going on beneath the surface."

Yes, but it's not about homosexuality. That's my point.

Eric said...

Wow, it hasn't even been 24 hours and already the dickless wonder crowd has started a MUKASEY STROKE TRUTH movement.

Oh, calm down, Palladian. I'm no troofer. It just seems like the way these things go for government officials of any stripe. I don't, like Cook, attribute this to any special quality of this administration. It just seems like every time someone in government has a non-incapacitating stroke the early word is "exhaustion".

blake said...

"the feminine type of 'hysterical' fainting that women frequently suffer from"

Anton, I think you're confusing Victorian-era dismissiveness with what is most often an undiagnosed medical condition.


Yeah! It's not like he was suggesting there might be a biological reason for the absence of women in the fields of math and science!

'cause that right there? That's fainting material.

Kirk Parker said...

"a new rhythm disorder"

Is that like, they can't clap on the off-beats? I know an awful lot of people in my ethnic group who have that malady.

Revenant said...

And, do you have the slightest bit of remorse for the innocent people who have been held in Gitmo lo these past 7 years?

What are their names?

Linda said...

As soon as I read the description, I thought of TIA. The confusion, the slurring, classic signs.

However, it certainly is possible, in a tired 67-year old man, for other causes to be involved, including medication for high blood pressure, diabetes, or other conditions.