fredperson, It appears you are accessing the site over AOL, so I can't really see all your actual browser requests to troubleshoot. (AOL caches a lot of content, and asks for content over several different IP addresses.)
If your browser cache is not setup correctly, you might be requesting all the scripts for the new chatbar over and over with each page load.
Idea 1: Clear your browser cache and try again.
Idea 2: Try a different browser if you are using the notoriously flaky AOL-provided one.
My new recommendation is no longer Firefox, but instead Google's Chrome
Final possibility: I've been the cause of site slowness on a few occasions while I've been installing updated software and the like. This is the least likely cause though, as those incidents have been short-lived.