On Fetterman’s life at Walter Reed and how his office is running while they await his return — https://t.co/xkoTdHWW3z
— Annie Karni (@anniekarni) March 9, 2023
Unpaywalled (gift) link:
In a cheerfully decorated common room at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, with floral paintings adorning violet walls, Senator John Fetterman of Pennsylvania begins most days meeting with his chief of staff, who arrives at around 10 a.m. carrying a briefcase full of newspaper clips, statements for him to approve, legislation to review and other business of the day.
The contents of that briefcase encompass the majority of Mr. Fetterman’s connection to the outside world these days, as the first-term Democrat from Pennsylvania finishes his third week in the hospital being treated for severe clinical depression…
Mr. Fetterman, 53, rushed back to the campaign trail last year after suffering a life-threatening stroke days before the Democratic primary, a decision that those close to him believe may have taken a long-term toll on his recovery. This time, he is set on taking his time in treatment, with the hope of returning to work within the next few weeks.
“We were honest with people about what’s going on, we put it out there,” said Adam Jentleson, his chief of staff. “The attacks will be what they’re going to be, but the attacks aren’t going to be any worse if he was in a few extra weeks. The main thing is for him to come out and not have to go back.”
That means that for now, Mr. Fetterman is spending his days not at the Capitol but 12 miles northwest at the sprawling Walter Reed campus, where he takes long walks on the trails and participates in talk therapy sessions. His doctors are continuing to monitor the dosages of his medications.
Mr. Fetterman often spends his afternoons and evenings with visiting family members — his parents and his brothers often come to the hospital and stay until dinner time. At least once a week, his wife Gisele visits from Braddock, Pa. There are no limits on how long his visitors can stay, or when they are allowed in. His small circle has been mostly limited to two staff aides and his family.
When Mr. Fetterman checked himself into the hospital on Feb. 15, the lead doctor told him that his case was treatable and guaranteed he would get back to his old self. Post-stroke depression, doctors said, affects one in three people and can be very serious, but is also highly treatable…
The strict regimen may be working. People around Mr. Fetterman said they have noticed a palpable difference in him in recent days: His sense of humor has returned and he is more sociable, sharing with the nurses some of the sweets that have been sent to him by fellow senators.
As Mr. Fetterman continues his recovery, his staff is marching on in his absence, operating out of a dreary, windowless suite of offices in the basement of the Dirksen Senate Office Building, a typical work space for a freshman senator in an institution that runs on seniority.
Since Mr. Fetterman checked in to the hospital, he has co-sponsored a bipartisan bill designed to help prevent future train derailment disasters, opened new district offices across Pennsylvania and hired four new staff members. On Wednesday, Mr. Fetterman sent a letter to the agriculture secretary, pressing the administration to deploy resources to the site of the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, to help farmers concerned about chemical release threatening the viability of their farms and livestock. East Palestine is near the Pennsylvania border.
Meetings with constituent groups have continued as usual, albeit without the traditional few minutes of glad-handing by the senator at the end. But in the Senate, a staff-run institution even in the best of times, that is hardly atypical…
For many doing business with Mr. Fetterman’s office, the senator’s health is irrelevant. On Tuesday afternoon, a representative from Temple University sat down with senior members of Mr. Fetterman’s staff to talk about the issue of gun violence in north Philadelphia and concerns over the university’s shrinking enrollment, requesting congressionally directed spending. The issue of Mr. Fetterman’s health never came up.
Still, some of Mr. Fetterman’s colleagues are keenly aware of his condition and have tried to help bridge the gap while he’s away.
Senator Bob Casey, Democrat of Pennsylvania, and Senator Tina Smith, Democrat of Minnesota, have both come by his office to talk to members of his staff and offer their support. Ms. Smith sent out a fund-raising email on Wednesday on Mr. Fetterman’s behalf, describing her own struggles with depression that left her unable to “feel joy or love or contentment.” Her plea, which underscored the courage it takes to seek help, included directions for reaching the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline…
Productive morning with Senator Fetterman at Walter Reed discussing the rail safety legislation, Farm Bill and other Senate business. John is well on his way to recovery and wanted me to say how grateful he is for all the well wishes. He’s laser focused on PA & will be back soon. pic.twitter.com/143uAhoQRx
— Adam Jentleson (@AJentleson) March 6, 2023
There was another freshman senator who landed in the hospital shortly after his election. @DorisKGoodwin told it well: pic.twitter.com/p7Oh8Gz8HC
— Scott Monty (@ScottMonty) March 9, 2023
Here’s to Sen. Fetterman’s continuing recovery!
Why don’t we do an old-fashioned card shower to Senator Fetterman?
Off topic, but this signal really needs to be boosted. I heard about this animal shelter here at BJ, they are really in a bad way and need donations desperately. Maybe the jackals here could come together to help?
@Nelle: That’s a great idea!
The Washington Post ran a profile of Giselle Fetterman last October 19 titled, “Giselle Fetterman, forging on through her husband’s heated Senate race. ”
It’s a good, long article that covers a lot, from her upbringing in Brazil to the Senate campaign. There are some interesting comments from Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Connie Schultz, whose husband happens to be Senator Sherrod Brown.
The part that struck me the most was Giselle Fetterman’s characterization of her husband. John, she said, is an introvert. That’s a view I had not taken of him before, but I think she would know.
Joy in FL
@tam1MI: Thanks for posting about Little Hill Sanctuary again. I just sent them another small donation yesterday.
I’ve supported them on Patreon for several years. They work diligently to help animals. They deserve any support jackals might want to give.
Some speculated Fetterman could be suffering post-stroke depression and that seems very on point now. Glad to know he’s rallying and able to work.
The coolest thing I’ll see today: parahawking. “Who’s a good buzzard–you are, you are!”
@tam1MI: Donation sent!
I have a structured settlement* and I need cash now.
* From bad water at Camp Lejeune.
sent some money. a cousin just moved to MN from CA and I hope she is happy to be here!
Saw downstairs that Robert Blake has died.
Without dwelling on the unpleasant more recent stuff, trivia:
Blake played the little boy selling lottery tickets in The Treasure of Sierra Madre. Also, as one of the Our Gang kiddies, was in one of their most inauspiciously named shorts, All About Hash.
Seconded. This shelter was mentioned here a week or so ago. I gave a little money then, but the GoFundMe didn’t get a lot of attention. The shelter has gotten slammed by the new round of bad weather and could really use some help. I’m going to give some more, and I urge others to contribute if they can. Clean link to the Little Hill Sanctuary GoFundMe.
Senator Fetterman is lucky to have Adam Jentleson as his chief of staff. He has loads of experience after years of working for Harry Reid. Great duo.
@NotMax: Mickey Gubitosi
@Betty: That was a smart move by Fetterman. Glad to hear he is improving!
So impressed with Senator Fetterman. May his healing be swift and complete.
That shelter needs so much help. Just devastating to read about. Gave a little. Thanks for posting about them.
@NotMax: Surprised the WaPo obituary doesn’t mention The Purple Gang, magnificent performance.
@tam1MI: OMG thank you! I was literally just coming here to share this. I was the one (or maybe one of the ones?) who posted about them before. The owner is a friend of a dear friend of mine. They’re struggling so badly in the wake of these latest storms. Anything at all people can do would be wonderful
I know everyone here gives a lot to a lot of places and might be running low, but these folks are about at their wit’s end, trying to keep the animals safe.
@Steeplejack: Gaah! There is a commercial on the Olde Folkes stations I watch, about (I think) psoriasis. It begins with an attractive young woman in a tub, and continues with her husband showing off his Speedos. A daughter passes, sees him, and says, “Daaaad!” in an aggrieved tone. This will run multiple times in a half-hour, and I now have a strong negative reaction to attractive young women in tubs.
This may be some Pavlovian conditioning at work. I suspect my wife.
Two BFDs which caught the eye today.
Sorry ’bout the format messiness above. Not going to do a fixed version as it is intelligible enough how it was meant to appear as is.
@NotMax: Was hoping to catch you. We finished that series The Consultant on Amazon Prime last night (my husband wanted to see the end). You were so right- it was a hot mess!
@NotMax: I love your text-blocking skills.
Looks like the set for a Busby Berkeley musical. Or Fred and Ginger, kicking up their heels as they descend. Well done! You are the classic movies fan.
I went down a rabbit hole. Got an email from PCMag—dunno how I got on their list—and looked at a couple of linked articles. One was on “the best browsers for 2023.” It didn’t rank them, but it said some nice things about the new version of Microsoft Edge, so I dusted that off and took it for a spin. Looked at Balloon Juice to compare it with my Firefox experience. Entered my nym and email to do a test comment and couldn’t think what to write. Then, like you, I was overcome by the ephemera of my third-tier geezer TV station.
ETA: Edge wasn’t as obnoxious as I remembered, but I’m sticking with Firefox. Might look at a couple of the “alternate” browsers the article mentioned.
@NotMax: The US should quietly congratulate all parties and then just shut up. I suspect the Biden Administration will do just that.
Odds are that this courtship is doomed (again), and now China will be associated with the inevitable diplomatic collapse.
Just for you.
Sorry I’m late. . . Fuck LBJ.
@Spanky: The relationship between the Saudis and Iranians has been cool to cold for a long time, but they at least had diplomatic relations until 2016. Then the Iranians were outraged by the Saudi execution of a senior Shi’ite cleric and broke off relations. Now they’ll go go back to being wary rivals, but with ambassadors again.
China deserves credit here. The U.S. could not have brokered anything because the Iranians have refused to meet American diplomats ever since Trump pulled out of the JCPOA in 2019.
Dorothy A. Winsor
@SteverinoCT: Your wife is evil
@tam1MI: Donation sent
@NotMax: We should have seen it coming. Jim Cramer on CNBC endorsed Silicon Valley Bank last week.
New York Post
I’m so happy someone as high profile as Sen. Fetterman is very public with getting treated for his mental health problems.
Anything to improve awareness and lift the stigma around mental health issues is very much welcome.
@NotMax: In other diplomatic news, Finnish President Sanna Marin visited Kyiv today.
@Origuy: Basically follow the reverse of his advice, and you’ll do ok.
I am an introvert, too. And no one who knows me professionally or as an acquaintance would ever think that. I do a lot of public speaking and meeting one-on-one with students and families. It’s all an act on my part. That’s how I think of it. I’m acting. I think he’s a lot like me that way.
ETA quote is from same NY Post link origuy put up ay #33.
Absolutely. It’s silly to interpret this in a ‘great power rivalry’ sort of way. As you say, they aren’t gonna be best buds, but that Iran and the Saudis are back in the diplomatic equivalent of being on speaking terms is a good thing. We couldn’t have done it, the Chinese did, kudos to them.
And fuck Trump for having pulled us out of the JCPOA.
@Steeplejack: Stick to a non-profit and open source – just like your social media :-)
ETA Whee!!! #40!
One of my rules of thumb is, If you are going to get sick, get something lots and lots of other people have, so the doctors know how to help you.
The last thing you want to do is be an interesting patient. The kind that draws all the doctors and med students to crowd into your hospital room because it’s their big chance to see an example of your rare condition.
Fetterman has followed this advice: “Post-stroke depression, doctors said, affects one in three people…”
I knew Abraham Lincoln suffered terribly from depression but I did not know about LBJ. Probably many other elected officials too, who kept it on the down low. It is progress that Fetterman can be so open about his depression.
@tam1MI: I put some coin in the go fund me.
@Elizabelle: Good investment advice is always priceless.
@NotMax: In an attempt to see you and raise you one, Blake’s character in In Cold Blood mentions the movie The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.
That’s how I do it to. Oddly I find public speaking easy.
@tam1MI: Donated! Thanks for the reminder.
Apparently you don’t watch much TV.
I find it easy too. Much easier than, say, a dinner party.
Ah, a Finnish to the fight.
David 🌈☘The Establishment☘🌈 Koch
@raven: I know how much you loved him so I leave this here:
In other “not doomscrolling and getting depressed” news, I was able to download a number of Dorothy L. Sayers novels to my Kindle from Faded Page, a public-domain site in Canada. I used their “experimental” “Kindle direct” method, which transmitted the books, er, directly to my Kindle, saving me from having to download them to my computer and then hook up the Kindle via cable to transfer them there. So now I’ve got all of the Lord Peter Wimsey novels at hand. I got the first three elsewhere, but now I’m a quarter of the way into the fourth, The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club—nicely formatted, good production values.
@UncleEbeneezer: That’s good news. I wonder how such thing could have become entrenched. I’d think a [ahem] well-run department would never have allowed such gangs.
@tam1MI: It’s scary out here in CA. Sent a donation to help. Thanks for the heads up.
Who doesn’t know a person that may have done unwise things while waiting for insurance at a new job?
@geg6: Oh hell yes. Things like dinner parties, or social gatherings where I know hardly anyone are hell for me, I’m at my absolute worst.
@Steeplejack: I watch no TV but I am caught up now. Thank!
@Steeplejack: Librivox has three of her novels posted – one has three versions, so you can “pick your reader.”
I love Librivox.
Thanks! I’m not a big audiobook fan, but that’s a good resource.
Faded Page has several versions for each book. Here’s the page for the first Lord Peter novel, Whose Body?
@Steeplejack: You are redeeming yourself with the Dorothy Sayers links, because I have that damned JG Wentworth jingle in my head and cannot get it out.
It displaced the rather catchy music from NotMax’s spiffy Fred and Ginger selection.
ETA: Wimsey as a “collector of … incunabula.” Say what?
@NotMax: @Spanky: @Geminid: anything likely to reduce tensions in the Muddle East is a good thing, and Saudi-Iran has long been a principal axis of contention. Whatever it cost the Chinese, and whatever they hope to gain from it, they’re welcome to IMO.
Yes. I’m in a corner, watching everyone else having fun and I just want to go home and be by myself. This often sends others a distorted signal and a lot of people who have gotten to know me better over time tell me it comes off as being stuck up. But no, I’m just suffering a thousand deaths.
It’s not that I dislike people but that I get overwhelmed in those kinds of situations.
I may be wrong, but I think Fetterman being upfront about this and dealing with it in an ADULT way is more likely to resonate positively with more voters than the smarmy obnoxious assholery that presently is the leitmotif of the Republican Party.
@geg6: My husband and I are both like this, so our next-door neighbors no longer invite us to their boisterous Christmas parties where we know no one except them.
In between solving mysteries, Lord Peter putters around acquiring old books and manuscripts, among other aristocratic pastimes.
Somebody wrote that Sayers, who occasionally experienced financial worries, liked the idea of making her protagonist not just well off but rich. But Lord Peter wears it well and is quite generous to those less well off.
Books printed before about 1500.
Thank you both.
Have seen some other authors follow with the titled guy crimesolving. Martha Grimes, Elizabeth George.
Was Lord Peter the first??
Well, Whose Body? was published in 1923, at the very start of the so-called golden age. That’s early, but I don’t know about first.
In crime fiction there is always the problem of how detectives, if they aren’t part of the police, support themselves. Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot commanded high fees because of their genius-level skills. I think it was the Americans slightly later who pioneered the idea of the “private detective” as a (usually not very remunerative) career. But they’re all basically different ways to explain how the detective has time to fiddle around with “cases.”
@David 🌈☘The Establishment☘🌈 Koch:
I have a slim volume from that era titled “The Begatting of a President,” which is a humorous retelling of the politics of the Sixties in mock-Biblical style.
Its chapter on Johnson is titled “LBJenesis,” and describes how LBJ created the Great Society in six days, then on the seventh day he threw a barbecue.
Should be on his tombstone.
Apparently, his morale is improved by supportive notes.
Fetterman’s Senate office’s contact page is at https://www.fetterman.senate.gov/contact/. I wrote this:
Jonathan August: “No atheists in a foxhole, no libertarians in a bank run.”
Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)
I’m glad you mentioned this because I’ve been wondering if this another possible Lehmann Bros scenario where there’s a contagion that affects the rest of the banking sector. Many businesses in California banked with SVB so, so they could have trouble meeting payroll, at the very least. First Republic Bank, for example, apparently have a similar banking strategy to SVB
Biden keeps Jacqueline Kennedy’s color scheme with new AF One; rejecting TFG’s red, white and blue:
Just had to post this just because it’ll piss TFG off!
Thank you for the info on “Faded Page” !
@Elizabelle: Not sure, but Sayers did say she made Wimsey rich because she was struggling at the time, so it amused her to give her detective a huge pile of money. It also made some storytelling gambits far more believable, like when Peter hired a plane to fly to the US & back to recover the letter that gets his brother off the hook for murder.
Not sure which came out first but it was also an LP, narrated by Orson Welles. May even still have a copy hiding around here somewhere.
@trollhattan: Oh, thank you. I think I just added to my bucket list (if someone as old and fat as I am could learn paragliding).
@Nelle: I will send a card today.
@tam1MI: Will send what I can, later today. Thank you for the reminder. (Also sending to Wisconsin Dems, though I assume too late for the match. )
I was glad to see that August was immediately called out for the moronic atheists in foxhole comment. Too bad he fell back on the I was only joking defense. Nope. Retire that offensive trope and stop kicking atheists.
@LiminalOwl: Definitely not too late for the match.
A group of antiwoke warriors – pundits and essayists – have decided that liberal teenagers are depressed because of (you guessed it) wokeness:
They also find, through the rigorous analysis of interviewing each other and reading each others essays and books and substacks, lo and behold, the Golden Age of Teenagers was…..the 1990s. When the antiwoke warriors were teenagers.
Teenagers were smarter and better and happier when these specific people were teenagers, is their scientific conclusion.
There’s a whole genre of memes on Facebook where older people say “if you remember THIS toy or THIS fad you grew up in the 1980s (or 1990s). It’s an excercise in nostalgia, where only the good parts of those decades are recalled but people like it and it’s harmless fun. These people are just doing a wordy – and I mean WORDY- thousands and thousands of words- pompous version of that meme.
Their assumption that it’s fact that teenagers are more depressed now than teenagers were in the 1990s is itself based on one study – they immediately grab onto studies that might be used in the War on Woke, often jumping the gun – so before worrying too much about Teenagers and The Woke I would wait to see some more studies – the ninnies of antiwokeness almost always overreact.
@Kay: Even if the depression rates are higher, and honestly I’d be more surprised if they weren’t, because even putting aside there’s just been a massively disruptive pandemic, we’ve got climate change continuing to be an underaddressed looming existential crisis, the economic outlook for young college-going people continues to be poor especially with regard to affordable housing and student loan burdens, and we know social media has corrosive mental health effects. Depression is a stress linked disorder. There’s a ton of reasons for young people to be stressed right now.
There have been other time periods where it’s been bad too, but the 90s were a legitimate respite from any serious crisis, and additionally, there’s been large amounts of work done to reduce stigma which is likely to lead to increased reporting, education of what depression is even, so that people aren’t just thinking they’re lazy and actually recognizing that they’re sick, and greater amounts of people seeking help and thus getting diagnoses.
Unless the study controlled for *all* of that it isn’t going to tell you much about whether speech issues have a damn thing to do with anything.