January 1, 2013

The Clinton clot plot thickens... or thins... with anti-coagulants.

So we were just talking about the oddities of the Clinton clot story. We noted that no sooner was it said that Hillary Clinton would testify, as Secretary of State, on the Benghazi attack, than there came an announcement that Hillary Clinton had entered the hospital with a blood clot. The coincidence raised suspicions of an effort to engineer an evasion of this testimony.

And we weren't told where the clot was, which is a crucial bit of information when assessing how serious this health scare is. Clinton had recently suffered a head injury, which makes one think the new problem would also be located in the head, but she'd also had a blood clot in her leg years ago, which makes that alternative seem plausible. If the clot were in the leg, withholding that information suggests a strategic choice to incline the public to view the problem as  more serious than it really was.

Later, Clinton's doctors released a statement saying that the clot was in a vein inside her skull, and that she's "making excellent progress" and likely to "make a full recovery." The Washington Post repeats the information that she's being treated with anticoagulants. You may remember that the analysis I discussed at that first link contained the assertion that "anticoagulation is never given to persons with clots around the brain." But that WaPo story says: "The conventional treatment is an anticoagulant drug for at least six months."

I know some of my readers are doctors. Can you help us out with that inconsistency about the anticoagulants? [ADDED: Here's what Dr. Pogo says. And here's some useful detail. I think the crucial distinction is whether the clot is in the brain or in the space between the brain and the skull.]

And, by the way, I've gotten some pushback in email and on the web, saying that it was "shameful" and "appalling" for me to tie Clinton's health problems to a possible intent to avoid testifying about Benghazi. Let me tell you that a core motivation to my blogging — and I've been going at this for 9 years now — is to stand tough against people who try to cut off debate with this kind of shaming. So I'm glad that this performance of outrage was directed at me. I know it when I see it, and it fires me up. You want silence? You want backing down? You want me not to dare say a thing like that? That's how you want to control political debate in the United States? Thanks for reminding me once again how deeply I hate that and for giving me an (easy) opportunity to model courage for the more timid people out there who are cowed by the fear of shaming.

ADDED: Here's something I would dearly love to do with this blog: I want to make it so that emotive, intimidating outrage like that backfires. I want people to learn that they can't get away with empty assertions like "I am aghast" or "You are despicable." You have to give reasons for what you think. Even if you really feel those feelings. And, of course, many of these hack writers don't actually feel the feelings they scribble about. They just don't want to have to talk about the actual issue. They want to make it something that everyone feels they'd better not talk about. But that should be a loud signal: We need to talk about it!

And let's get back to basics: What we need to talk about is Benghazi.


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stephen wagasky said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
stephen wagasky said...

perhaps the usual talking heads got caught doing and knowing nothing as usual...but what can we help by bad mouthing a figure head in the chess game of Occupy the Consulate...who knows who is at fault or will ever know?

Chip S. said...

It's too bad there's no written record of correspondence to and from the White House. That would've been very helpful.

But I guess we'll never really know.

Kinda harsh to call Hillary a "figure head", tho, don't you think? Or were you talking about someone higher up?

fernstalbert said...

Thank you Ann - I don't need or even want to agree with opinion 100% of the time. I do, however. want a comprehensive and passionate defence of opinion and reason without the hysterical hype of "I am offended". My motto (adopted recently, I might add) is - "I am offended that you are offended". May you continue to poke and prod those sacred subjects. Bravo Ann. Cheers.

fernstalbert said...

Thank you Ann - I don't need or even want to agree with opinion 100% of the time. I do, however. want a comprehensive and passionate defence of opinion and reason without the hysterical hype of "I am offended". My motto (adopted recently, I might add) is - "I am offended that you are offended". May you continue to poke and prod those sacred subjects. Bravo Ann. Cheers.

Jake Diamond said...

You're embarrassing yourself if you think you can convince Althouse she's embarrassed herself.

I don't try to convince the irrational. I mock them.

Jake Diamond said...

Gary Shandling repeated this fact

Gary Shandling is now the "go to guy" right wingers rely on for historical analysis?


edutcher said...

Now that it's safe to come out, Diamond is back to tell us all how dumb we are.

Sisyphus nods.

Cedarford said...

Unknown said...
4 people needlessly died---we did nothing to stop that.
We are at war. People die. Islamoids are an intelligent, thinking enemy. A "Zero casualty" demand when we are out there, our soldiers AND!! civilians overseas are in line of fire and know they are serving US interests - is stupid and unrealistic.

Had there been extra security, the result may well have been avoiding an enemy defeat, but possibly more dead in the attacks from more targets for the enemy to strike.
Right wingers do have a little credibility problem going around braying about "4 dead Heroes!" when they cheer led 45,000 casualties in Bush and the Neocons two bungled wars of adventure and nation-building.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

Gary Shandling has has been the go-to guy for right-wingers for many years Jake, not just recently.

Do try to keep up you little rascal.

I swear to God Jake, interacting with you is like playing cards with my brother's kids, just like Billy Bob in Tombstone.

Pogo said...

I am still struck by the non-medical language used in the stories about Clinton.

From the NYT 12/30:
"Doctors treating Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Monday said that she suffered a blood clot in a vein between her brain and skull behind her right ear..."

Nothing more of the actual diagnosis. Very strange to avoid the correct diagnosis and anatomical location.

It's the kind of flubbed language used by non-medical family members to describe what they only vaguely understand.

In the Paper of Record.

fobw12 said...

rcommal, I think what's directly referenced here (Wonkette) is actually a mocking of the host, not a shaming, with the intent to ridicule, not inflict guilt. That's my POV.

Also, the reference to "for giving me an (easy) opportunity to model courage for the more timid people out there who are cowed by the fear of shaming", seems to put her at the center of things by and lack the humility usually associated with bravery or a display of courage. Again, just opinion.

Bru said...

Well, you're not the only one with questions about Sec. Clinton's health. NBC's science reporter also says the statement from Clinton's office doesn't make much sense: http://www.politico.com/story/2012/12/nbc-reporter-raises-hillary-questions-85611.html#.UOGwYXqpUVM.twitter

MadisonMan said...

"I am offended".

The catch-all phrase to make all boo-boos better, I guess. My reply is usually "..and....?"

It's not like the world is guaranteed to be inoffensive to everyone. My opinion is that people who are always offended are always boring.

phx said...

Being personally offended is one of the dumbest stances a person can take, IMHO.

Seeing Red said...

LOLOLOL. I just started glancing thru the SW/Chip exchange.

This sounds like the new standard or bar.

Unless you're an "expert" you can't opine.

It's like Bush v. Gore when some suggested that only Constitutional lawyers can understand the Constitution.

If that doesn't work, appeal to "shame" "honor" "patriotism."

If that doesn't work, default to making it all about sex.

AprilApple said...

Asked about Benghazi., Hillary will say "she doesn't recall."

Seeing Red said...

Is Wonkette still relevant or is she looking for traffic?

Seeing Red said...

...The dignity of things demands respect....

The quaint notions of dignity and respect were also jettisoned by Hillary & her 60s boomers decades ago.

Question authority.

Seeing Red said...

John Adams quotes:
Be not intimidated... nor suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your liberties by any pretense of politeness, delicacy, or decency. These, as they are often used, are but three different names for hypocrisy, chicanery and cowardice.

mikee said...

I recall when dissent was patriotic.

I also recall when the seriousness of the accusation, not the actual evidence, was enough to cause the accused the need to demonstrate his or her innocence.

I guess both of those have passed their expiration dates?

Baron Zemo said...

I don't see how you can't understand this rccomal. It is pretty simple.

Mock is much more acceptable than shame.

That's why everybody likes to wear a nice mock turtlenecks but nobody wants a shame turtleneck.

ShadowFox said...

This is Althouse's (and Pogo's) Terri Schiavo moment

Pogo said...

"Terri Schiavo moment"


Pogo said...

Are you saying Clinton is brain dead?

Robin said...

Shorter Ritmo:

Cheney's hunting accident: analogy

Ted Kennedy's drunken homicide: meaningless

gerry said...

If only Hillary had gone to Cuba for treatment!

And Bill could have gone for the cigars.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Oh God. Now Pogo confused the New York Times with a medical journal. It makes me wonder how he stays abreast of the latest advances.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

I think Pogo is missing his English-to-Medical-Jargon Translator. But here goes: The area of the head or brain located around the ear is called "temporal".

I bet he feels better already.

jim said...

Clinton's health = a sideshow.
Benghazi = yet another sideshow.

What you should be talking about is Syria.

Robert Lynn Green said...

I think that your baseless speculation about the Secretary of State's blood clot treatment says much more about your poor character than it shows about her good character. You seem to have nothing rational to hold against her, so you resort to low-level snarkiness.

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