Disturbing, If True

I don’t think this Washington Post obituary headline came out the right way:

badheadline2

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Revoke Mylan’s Corporate Charter

By now, you’ve probably heard about Mylan Laboratories’ massive price hikes in the EpiPen, which is used to treat life-threatening allergic reactions. You might have even heard how the EpiPen technology is entirely the result of federally funded research. Perhaps you even read about the possible (who are we kidding, probable) anti-trust violations that Mylan has committed. But this is simply par for the course (boldface mine):

EpiPen price hikes may be causing outrage, but those pale in comparison to the huge increases that Mylan Laboratories took on dozens of other medicines earlier this year.

For instance, the company raised the price of ursodiol, a generic medicine used to treat gallstones, by 542 percent. There was also a 400 percent boost in the price for dicyclomine, which combats irritable bowel syndrome, and a 312 percent increase for metoclopramide, a generic drug that treats gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Those eye-popping increases were actually first disclosed two months ago by Wells Fargo analyst David Maris, amid a national debate over prescription drug prices. The disclosure put Mylan on the defensive because, until then, the company had avoided the harsh spotlight fixed mostly on Valeant Pharmaceuticals and Turing Pharmaceuticals, which was run by Martin Shkreli.

There are grounds to revoke a corporate charter on the grounds of being a complete shithead (boldface mine):

In 1976, California’s conservative Republican attorney general used corporate charter revocation to force a private water company out of business for delivering contaminated water to its customers. The company settled the litigation and its assets were sold before its charter was revoked.

The New York State attorney general used the tool in 1998 in conjunction with other litigation to put two New York corporations, Council for Tobacco Research and Tobacco Institute Inc., out of business and order their assets donated to state education and health institutions. Dennis Vacco argued that the Council was using its tax-exempt status by acting as a propaganda arm of the tobacco industry. The stated mission of the groups was “to provide truthful information about the effects of smoking on public health,” Vacco said. “Instead,” he added, “these entities fed the public a pack of lies in an underhanded effort to promote smoking and to addict America’s kids.”

The tobacco industry eventually agreed to dissolve the two front groups as part of a multistate settlement of a lawsuit over the public health costs of smoking. But first, Vacco convinced the states’ courts to appoint a receiver for the two tobacco groups and dissolve the Council for Tobacco Research because it had violated its nonprofit corporate charter and tax-exempt status.

If there were ever a legitimate reason to disband a company and have the state redeploy the assets, price gouging with life-saving medicines would be it. If nothing else, it would force Mylan to lower its prices.

Update: Mylan announced that it will release a generic version of the EpiPen for ‘only’ $300, which means they jacked up the price roughly three-fold. Crush these fuckers.

Posted in Basic Human Decency, Bidness, Healthcare | 2 Comments

Links 8/28/16

Links for you. Science:

World’s oldest needle found in Siberian cave that stitches together human history
The Micro Monsters Beneath Your Beach Blanket
It Seems the Cigarette Industry Helped Create the Type-A Personality
Humanity’s first photos of Earth from the moon would have been thrown away if not for 3 people and an old McDonald’s
What’s So Significant About Significance?

Other:

Will America Finally Stop Privatizing Everything? (depends on how important the Pritzkers are in the next administration)
The EpiPen, a Case Study in Health Care System Dysfunction (if there were ever a case to remove a patent, this is it)
Grifters gonna grift
Ruling Pushes Door to Grad-Student Unions ‘Wide Open’
Read These Tweets To Understand How The Media Are Screwing Up Their Clinton Foundation Coverage
The Trump Campaign Is Now Fully Aligned With White Supremacists
Inside the Very Shady Nonprofit Dealings of the Trump Campaign’s New CEO
Berkeley put a tiny tax on soda. Consumption plummeted by 21 percent.
The District’s HIV clinic was failing. This ‘old, straight white guy’ managed to save it.
On 20th anniversary of welfare reform, D.C. still foots bill for longtime recipients
The EpiPen was her ‘baby.’ Now this pharma CEO is in the hot seat over price hikes
Hillary Clinton’s health care agenda is in danger as Obamacare struggles
From the destruction of Greece to democracy in Europe
Metro fights union lawsuit to reinstate L’Enfant Plaza tunnel inspector (more complex than first reports indicated. Sounds like the worker is being punished when he sort of tried to do the right thing against his managers’ opposition)
The Only Way To Get A Good Resolution
‘I wasn’t crazy’: A homeless woman’s long war to prove the feds owe her $100,000
Trump Normalized Hate Groups. The Media Normalized Trump.
We Don’t Want To Be Like Manhattan
What I Learned from Watching a Week’s Worth of Olympic Ads
Ron Johnson, genius, doesn’t understand why we have college professors

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

The Conservative Con Rolls On: The Stephen Bannon Edition

If you haven’t heard, Il Trumpe’s newest campaign coordinator has committed the kind of voter fraud that Republicans worry about (as opposed to the kind we really should be worried about; boldface mine):

Donald Trump’s new presidential campaign chief is registered to vote in a key swing state at an empty house where he does not live, in an apparent breach of election laws.

Stephen Bannon, the chief executive of Trump’s election campaign, has an active voter registration at the house in Miami-Dade County, Florida, which is vacant and due to be demolished to make way for a new development.

“I have emptied the property,” Luis Guevara, the owner of the house, which is in the Coconut Grove section of the city, said in an interview. “Nobody lives there … we are going to make a construction there.” Neighbors said the property had been abandoned for several months…

Bannon never appeared at the house, according to the neighbors. One of them, Joseph Plummer Jr, who lives next door, said Clohesy lived at the house until earlier this year and that a man of Latino appearance in his 20s was the only male ever seen there. Asked whether a man of Bannon’s description stayed at the house, Plummer said: “No, that was not that individual, not at all.”

But it gets better–tax fraud is also in the mix (boldface mine):

Bannon also co-owns a condominium in Los Angeles and is known to stay at the so-called “Breitbart embassy”, a luxurious $2.4m townhouse beside the supreme court in Washington DC, where his website’s staff work from basement offices. A Bloomberg profile of Bannon published last October, with which he cooperated, stated that Bannon “occupies” the townhouse and described it as being “his”.

But according to records at the DC office of tax and revenue, the Breitbart house is actually owned by Mostafa El-Gindy, an Egyptian businessman and former member of parliament. Gindy has received favorable coverage from Breitbart News, which styles him as a “senior statesman”, without an accompanying disclosure that he is the website’s landlord.

Here’s the interesting thing: because the mainland colony of the District of Columbia (aka ‘Wor-Shing-Tun’) has the responsibilities of a state, if not the legal representation, it has an income tax to raise revenue. On $40,000 to $60,000 of income, you pay seven percent; on $60,000 to $350,000, eight and a half percent; above $350,000, 8.95% percent of income. Meanwhile, Florida has no income tax.

I’m thinking D.C. needs to investigate this possible case of income tax evasion. Just par for the course for Trumpists….

Posted in Conservatives, DC | Leave a comment

Links 8/27/16

Links for you. Science:

Chemistry group throws out election results after fears of vote rigging
Obama’s science legacy: betting big on biomedical science
Experimental cancer therapy holds great promise — but at great cost
A Tiny Jellyfish Relative Just Shut Down Yellowstone River
The Thirsty Little Snake That Swam Across the World

Other:

Insufficient Funding Threatens Needle Exchange Program
Let Us Know How That Worked Out In About 40 Years
Between Señor Trumpanzee And Lamar Smith, The GOP Will Not Be Dialing Back Their War On Science This Year
How the NSA willfully exposes Americans to danger
A Tale of Two Standoffs
Trump just admitted his entire immigration posture is a big scam
Gawker’s demise is troubling for experiments in reader engagement
There is honestly no point in doing anything but this guy’s job.
Donald Trump Jacked Up His Campaign’s Trump Tower Rent Once Somebody Else Was Paying It
Mark Wahlberg’s Burger Chain Is Being Sued For Unpaid Wages
This is How South Florida Ends
Gawker Was Murdered by Gaslight (and being shitheads too)
Economic Anxiety Is All About Progress, Not Income
When a Planned Parenthood Clinic Closes, This Happens
Rent-to-Own Homes: A Win-Win for Landlords, a Risk for Struggling Tenants (not just for black families in the 1950s and 1960s anymore…)
Millennials aren’t buying homes. Good for them.
Why Your Team Sucks 2016: Washington Redskins

Posted in Lotsa Links | Leave a comment

So Much For Intersectionality

Throughout the Democratic primary, we heard a lot about intersectionality. While I’m sure some of the talk was sincere, much of it always seemed like a way to deemphasize and delegitimize a left-leaning economic agenda (much as the insistence that Trump can only be explained through racism and not economic frustration is). With that by way of introduction, we bring you this figure:

4_3

It does make one wonder if many of those trumpeting intersectionality have some hidden class biases.

Posted in Democrats, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Links 8/26/16

Links for you. Science:

To Fight Zika Beyond Florida We Need Better Sex Education
This Florida Community May Unleash Genetically Modified Mosquitoes to Fight Zika and Dengue
Gene name errors are widespread in the scientific literature (nothing bioinformaticians haven’t known forever, but worth quantifying)
Looking for a Signal in the Noise: Revisiting Obesity and the Microbiome
Playing Politics With Zika — and the Public’s Health. Congress has dithered over emergency Zika funding for months. Experts now worry that an ebb in the outbreak could further stall pursuit of a vaccine

Other:

The Difficult Math of American Health Care. It’s not just Aetna: The way Obamacare handles the excessive costs of treatment simply doesn’t work.
How a Wonky Trade Pact You’d Never Heard of Became a Huge Campaign Issue
Hillary Clinton’s economic dream team
Why the GOP Will Never Accept President Hillary Clinton
Against the Voter-As-Consumer And Politics-As-Soap-Opera
The Equation Group’s sourcecode is totally fugly
The Gilded Rage: A Conversation With a Trump Supporter That Will Surprise You
Central Park Drinking Fountain Doubles As Dog Bidet (OH GOD NO)
26 overdoses in just hours: Inside a community on the front lines of the opioid epidemic
20 Years Since Welfare’s Overhaul, Results Are Mixed
So What If New York Is Unaffordable? That Helps the U.S.
How the first liberal Supreme Court in a generation could reshape America
ANTI-TRUMP RIGHT-WING TALKER: GOSH, YOU DON’T SUPPOSE SOME OF THIS TRUMP STUFF IS MY FAULT, DO YOU?
The Stolen War
In China, Rejuvenating a Classical Music Heritage Linked to a Jewish Community
Is the Trump Campaign Just a Giant Safe Space for the Right?

Posted in Lotsa Links | Leave a comment