HomeUncategorized7/2 News Roundup & Open Thread – The 99: Episode 1 (Welcome to Bernie’s Party), Sanders Was Right to Oppose US Intervention in Central America & More

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jcitybone

“I’ve concluded that there are some drugs that simply do not belong in the hands of a for-profit company.”

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/07/01/if-grandma-table-no-one-will-blink-price-former-drug-company-manager-explains

That same year, the Wall Street Journal published an inside account of how Pfizer executives decided to set the price of a new breast cancer drug. As their Gilead counterparts did, Pfizer’s team ignored research and manufacturing costs, instead focusing on discovering the maximum price that insurers would be willing to pay, and at what price level physicians would balk at prescribing the drug. Worried about the intimidating nature of a $10,000 per month cost, Pfizer settled on the same approach that cause microwave ovens and flat-screen TV’s to so often carry price tags ending with 99 dollars or 99 cents. Executives decided that the new breast cancer drug would be sold at $9,850 a month.

But, in 2001, drug price tags like these were still unheard of. So Leath was stunned at the internal discussion of a $10,000 price for Xigris, which would make it the most expensive medicine on the market. When she realized that the only ones sharing her concern were colleagues in middle management, she raised her objections to her boss. The new price could not be justified by research or manufacturing costs, Leath said, even with a healthy profit added in.

Her boss replied that justification based on company costs was irrelevant. “If Grandma is on the table, no one is going to blink at paying $10,000 to save her life,” he said. It was a phrase that came to be repeated in the Lilly executives’ pricing discussions from then on: “If Grandma is on the table . . .”

In the end, Xigris did not live up to the hopes of either the company or patients. Although Lilly consistently made $100 million a year from the drug, it was pulled from the market in 2011 after further clinical testing showed it did not have a positive impact on patient survival.

By that time, Frances Leath was long gone. In her decade and a half with Lilly, she had received regular promotions, a six-figure salary, and annual bonuses averaging more than $30,000. She had every indication that those numbers would only continue to rise. Yet, for the granddaughter of a United Methodist minister and chair of Staff Parish of her own Methodist church in Indianapolis, money could no longer keep her in the Lilly fold. “I was struggling, both emotionally and physically,” she says. “I felt like I was participating in things that conflicted with being a Christian.”

To Leath, the lesson learned from her experience in the pharmaceutical industry is that its leaders are now laser-focused on profits, along with the stock prices, salaries, and bonuses that are tied to them. No one should expect those executives to voluntarily restrain themselves from price-gouging on a lifesaving medicine they hold the rights to.

“I’ve concluded that there are some drugs that simply do not belong in the hands of a for-profit company,” she says. “They are driven by motivations that have nothing to do with the health of patients.”

jcitybone

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/07/02/after-trumps-former-fda-chief-quietly-joins-pfizer-board-warren-calls-resignation

Maybe Scott Gottleib thought he could avoid scrutiny by making the move to the board of pharmaceutical giant Pfizer just over two months after leaving his position as President Donald Trump’s commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration—but if so, he didn’t count on Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts who is also running for her party’s nomination for president in 2020, released a letter (pdf) Tuesday morning calling on Gottleib to step down from the board in the name of government ethics.

“You will be on the board of a company that has billions of dollars at stake in the decisions made by the agency you used to head and the employees you used to lead,” states Warren’s letter.

It’s a profitable venture for Gottleib.

“According to Pfizer,” Warren notes, “board members in 2018 were paid $142,500 in cash retainers, plus received $192,500 worth of Pfizer stock.”

Benny

The discussion between Dave Weigel and Cenk is worth watching…it’s about 17 min long but there are many points Cenk brings up about the MSM’s lack of follow up questions with candidates. Weigel points out that Harris got a big gift from DJT Jr this weekend, as did Pete Buttigieg.

Benny

Benny

TOP follows the MSM for that very reason.

WindDancer13

The Betsy Ross flag? Shouldn’t that be in a museum someplace? Or is the government planning to eliminate some states?

Benny

This a screen capture turned into a jpg so you will have to click on the image to read it. I started reading LA Times some months ago when I realized that CA will be a very important state for the first half of the primary season.

LAT Article about the Horse Race July 2 2019.JPG
Benny

polarbear4

polarbear4

polarbear4

Benny

polarbear4

Benny

NYCVG
NYCVG

Corp tool Jmart needs to go f himself. Along with Sydney Ember and the rest of the NY Times Bash Bernie enterprise.

wi61

Hey my donation is in there somewhere 🙂

•Raised $24 million this quarter, including $6 million transferred from prior accounts. Transfer came from the Senate campaign and political committee
•Nearly 1 million contributions this quarter. Since the launch of the campaign, there have been nearly 2 million individual donations.
•Bernie Sanders’ team says they have roughly $30 million cash on hand
•Of the people who gave this quarter, 46% made their first donation to the campaign
•The campaign received almost 200,000 individual donations since the day of the first debate
•$18 avg contribution and nearly 99.9% of donors can give again, showing durable and energetic grassroots support that will continue to back the campaign in the many months leading up to the first caucuses and primaries
•Teachers are most common occupation
•Most common employer is Walmart. Others in the top 10 include Amazon, Starbucks, Target and the US Postal Service — the people Bernie is fighting for
•45% of donors are 39 or younger

WindDancer13

Now this is impressive:

Of the people who gave this quarter, 46% made their first donation to the campaign

Not a math wiz, but I think that means that almost 9 million came from new supporters. If, so that means the MSM is failing in its purpose. Yay!

Tyrannocaster

The Democrats Aren’t a Left-Wing Party — They Just Play One on TV

If you turn your gaze from the Democrats on the debate stage to the ones actually governing in Congress, you’ll see a party fit for David Brooks. Hours before Team Blue’s 2020 hopefuls endorsed decriminalizing illegal entry, its House caucus approved $4.5 billion in new funding for the border crisis — without imposing strict standards on how that money can be spent. In doing so, House Democrats didn’t merely embrace a position to the right of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s, but one to the right of Nancy Pelosi’s. The House’s proudly moderate “Blue Dog” and “Problem Solvers” caucuses called the tune. They wanted bipartisan compromise without delay, and they had the votes to get it, their Speaker’s wishes be damned.

Benny

The Democrats Aren’t a Left-Wing Party — They Just Play One on TV at TOP.

polarbear4

Don midwest
Don midwest

Role of corporation is to max shareholder value

Well, maybe there are other concerns like workers and government, and environment ..

After Over Three Decades, Rebel Economist Breaks Through to Washington. Here’s How He Did It.

subtitle

The idea that businesses are run to maximize profits for shareholders is just plain wrong, says William Lazonick

polarbear4

Harold Meyerson has also banged this drum, but was pretty much ignored.

If only the MSM would make this trend.

polarbear4

comment image

Benny

TOP Straw Poll up, need to vote. Kos opened it 2 hours early which means he’s likely to close it early too. https://www.dailykos.com/

magsview

It’s that time birdies who have the stomach for it! TOP’s poll. Currently, with 322 votes, no surprise, Warren and Harris battling it out-Warren has the edge at 44% vs. 33% for Harris.

UPDATE: At 564 votes Warren already pulling away from Harris even though the poll lists Warren twice! Nice mistake to (*cough*) make Harris look better. So, if you add BOTH Warren lines, here’s where it’s at:

49% Warren
31% Harris
7% Buttigieg
5% Sanders
3% Biden

and a few others with 1%

magsview

Warren holding steady, Harris dropping (down to 29%), Bernie now ahead of Buttigieg by one at 1,244 votes.

magsview

p.s. I’m already mega-tired of the term, “She has a plan for that”. It would seem that everyone who spouts it thinks they’re being super-witty.

magsview

After 50 minutes and 3,604 votes things shifting amongst the top three:

44% Warren
25% Harris
17% Sanders

these two more or less static:

6% Buttigieg
3% Biden

and six others with 1%.

WindDancer13

At 2:07 pm est:

Sanders 32%
Warren 29% (second Warren 4% checkbox)
Harris 19%
Pete 5%

9876 votes

polarbear4

CNBC and the koch brothers – – the MSM proudly displays their affinity for the right wing. I hope people that watch Maddow realize what is happening here.

magsview

For polarbear especially, a little break in the action (thank you for your forbearance):

polarbear4

💕💕🐢

WindDancer13

Capitalism does it best to drive out the artisan aka individualism.

WindDancer13

A different take on the debates.

magsview

My favorite part was Biden’s, “Look, look, look” as I couldn’t help notice that he says that a lot! Just as so many tv pundits do right before they attempt to make some kind of ‘very serious’ point.

WindDancer13

There were a couple that I really liked, but yes, the Biden one was especially accurate. I tend to think more that the “Look” is code for “You are too stupid to pay attention, so sit down while I tell you what you are supposed to think.”

WindDancer13

When war becomes the normal state of the world, TV personalities feel pushing for more is journalism. It isn’t.

magsview

How an Education Startup Wasted Almost $200 Million—Data Sheet

The exceedingly well-funded San Francisco education startup AltSchool announced a seemingly inevitable “pivot” last week. It is turning over its few remaining schools to an organization with experience educating children. At the same time it will rename itself Altitude Learning and become the thing it avoided from the git-go, a technology company.

I wrote more than three years ago that Iwas intrigued by AltSchool because of its innovative approach to educating kids. At the same time, I noted the arrogance of the ex-Google employees who started AltSchool for thinking they could experiment on children. Then-CEO Max Ventilla compared AltSchool to “flying the plane while we’re building it.” My observation at the time: “No one in their right mind would tinker with an airborne plane. Yet AltSchool asks parents to pay for the privilege ofsupplying their children as guinea pigs.”

The experiment didn’t work. There’s no shame in that in Silicon Valley, whose well-documented ethos celebrates failure. Then again, the era seems to be passing when reasonable people will believe that just because someone made a bunch of money helping commercialize a revolutionary information-searching algorithm that they have a chance in hell of reforming education—or some other unrelated field.

While reading this next bit, please keep in mind that this is from Fortune.com

I also can’t help but wonder what might have happened if the founders of AltSchool had figured out a way to spend the nearly $200 million in venture capital they raised to improve education in the public schools in the cities where their company operated rather than trying to change the world with technology.

https://fortune.com/2019/07/01/altschool-startup-education/

magsview

Demasking the Torture of Julian Assange

By Nils Melzer, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture

On the occasion of the International Day in Support of Torture Victims, 26 June 2019

In the end it finally dawned on me that I had been blinded by propaganda, and that Assange had been systematically slandered to divert attention from the crimes he exposed.

Very well, you may say, but what does slander have to do with torture? Well, this is a slippery slope. What may look like mere «mudslinging» in public debate, quickly becomes “mobbing” when used against the defenseless, and even “persecution” once the State is involved. Now just add purposefulness and severe suffering, and what you get is full-fledged psychological torture.

this is not only about protecting Assange, but about preventing a precedent likely to seal the fate of Western democracy. For once telling the truth has become a crime, while the powerful enjoy impunity, it will be too late to correct the course. We will have surrendered our voice to censorship and our fate to unrestrained tyranny.

https://medium.com/@njmelzer/demasking-the-torture-of-julian-assange-b252ffdcb768

magsview

Done

WindDancer13

Nope, don’t want him as a senator either.

jcitybone

Definitely the staff and not the crappy candidate

magsview

Did you hear about what’s going on in Alaska?

Alaska Governor’s “Unprecedented” Higher Education Cuts Could Shutter Entire Departments

In a move that shocked education leaders across the U.S., Gov. Mike Dunleavy cut nearly 41 percent of the state’s higher education operating budget on Monday. Dunleavy’s line-item veto of the state appropriations bill will impact the University of Alaska System the most, where cuts could add up to $130 million. And that’s on top of $5 million in cuts already approved by the Legislature.

The system’s fiscal year began Monday, and the cuts take effect immediately, placing the education of more than 20,000 students at risk. University board members directed Johnsen to prepare a “financial exigency” plan by July 15 that would allow the system to discontinue programs and entire academic units. In what Johnsen called an “unprecedented” process, the plan would also permit the removal of tenured faculty. As many as 1,300 staff and faculty across the system could lose their jobs, Johnsen told Alaska television channel KTVA. In an op-ed before the governor announced his veto, Johnsen said the system might have to close one or more of its three main campuses.

Professors are warning that dismembering public universities in Alaska could drive students out of state, slow economic growth, and even affect climate change research. University leaders, professors, students, and even the mayor of Anchorage are planning a push to lobby lawmakers to override the veto.

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/07/alaska-governor-guts-state-higher-education-funding.html

polarbear4

broken record here: our voting systems have to be completely transparent. this is getting to be a war between right wingers, the affluent and pretty much everyone else

magsview

I really enjoyed this interview with the Ugandan writer of poetry Kagayi Ngobi, so wanted to share a piece with you all. I love the sense of urgency and, well, you’ll see:

‘I always tell myself, this might be the last time that I am performing’—Kagayi Ngobi chats to James Murua about his protest poetry (Plus: Read two of his poems)

The JRB: You have also referred to yourself as a protest poet. Are you comfortable with this classification?

Kagayi Ngobi: I am comfortable with the title, because protest is another way of expressing love. You are demanding something that is better than what is here. I am not saying that I am ignoring the good things, but there are also the bad things that are happening. Protest is also a form of functional livelihood, because how else do you deal with disillusionment and apathy? If you accept the situation as it is then you are not going to be able to fight against it or do what you need to do to improve it. Every time we protest we highlight what can be done. The challenge with protest poetry, which is where I want to improve myself, is we need to start creating alternative solutions to the problems that we highlight. It’s not enough just to say, ‘there is corruption, there is tribalism, there is this and that’. I think that it is also key that we find a way of articulating solutions.

https://johannesburgreviewofbooks.com/2019/07/01/i-always-tell-myself-this-might-be-the-last-time-that-i-am-performing-kagayi-ngobi-chats-to-james-murua-about-his-protest-poetry-plus-read-two-of-his-poems/

jcitybone

Another not so great poll for Bernie. Drops for Biden and Buttigieg also. Warren about same. Harris surges.

Buttigieg is going to have a hard time maintaining his fundraising with numbers like that.

I wonder if friction is going to grow between the Warren and Harris campaigns who are fighting for a lot of similar voters. Obviously, there already is friction between the Harris and Warren campaigns.

The Suffolk Iowa poll wasn’t great for Bernie (and Biden) either.

https://poll.qu.edu/images/polling/us/us07022019_umfj23.pdf/

After Democratic presidential contenders duked it out over two nights of debates, former Vice President Joseph Biden hits his lowest number yet in the Democratic primary race with 22 percent of the vote among Democrats and Democratic leaners, virtually tied with California Sen. Kamala Harris who has 20 percent of the vote. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren follows at 14 percent, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is at 13 percent, and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg gets 4 percent, according to a Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pea-ack) University National Poll released today. No other candidate tops 3 percent.

This compares to a June 11, 2019 Quinnipiac University Poll which had Biden at 30 percent, Sanders getting 19 percent, Warren with 15 percent, Buttigieg at 8 percent, and Harris with 7 percent.

jcitybone

I meant already friction between the Harris and Biden campaigns

WindDancer13

Small group: 554
Margin of error 5%

Bernie was at 11% in a poll by this company in April down from 19% in March. It is going to bounce around a lot until the chaff is winnowed.

magsview

Yah, that’s a bummer. But I wonder how long Harris’s surge will last. I’m seeing a lot of chatter about her, most of it not good. She’s stepped into the spotlight and is receiving more scrutiny.

And Neera Tanden defending her is not helpful, imo.

Benny

jcitybone

More like fighting for the banks

I remember liking this guy. What happened?

magsview

Lamond a huge disappointment. He’d come across as anti-establishment back in 2006, when he challenged Lieberman and was anti-Iraq war, but when he decided to run for Governor he went all in doing whatever he needed to do to get the party machine support.

As a result, he barely beat the Republican last November.

Lamont’s wife is a venture capitalist (her and her partners firm specializes in ‘companies in the health care information and financial technology industries’) and with his efforts to cut costs on the back of CT’s state union workers, he seems more like a Republican a good part of the time.

This was from one month ago:

The budget includes an estimated $450 million in savings from changes to state employee health care services and a restructuring of the state employee pension debt, which total about $172 million.

Lamont is big on tolls, an extremely unpopular move state-wide:

out-of-state drivers will account for 40% of the estimated $700 million in annual revenue that tolls would provide – and (Lamont) reiterated how Amazon’s fulfillment center under construction in North Haven would result in some 1,800 jobs.

I understand the challenge to balance the state budget, but check this out:

In addition, Governor Lamont is proposing a municipal cost-sharing plan under which each municipality or local board of education will be responsible for at least one-quarter (25 percent) of the normal pension cost paid on its behalf by the state. Those municipalities who have teacher salaries above the statewide median will be asked to pay a share equal to each percentage point they are above the median.

Sounds to me like I can expect a big jump in my local property taxes soon!

Honestly? At the rate Lamont is going this state could turn red.

magsview

I’d like to know more detail on this part too:

In addition, Governor Lamont will negotiate a maximum price for healthcare services provided to state employees and retirees

humphrey

Well he was better than Joe Lieberman. MAYBE?

jcitybone

https://theintercept.com/2019/06/09/kamala-harris-san-francisco-catholic-church-child-abuse/

KAMALA HARRIS, SURROUNDED by thousands of cheering supporters, kicked off her presidential campaign in Oakland earlier this year, declaring that she has always fought “on behalf of survivors of sexual assault, a fight not just against predators but a fight against silence and stigma.”

Fighting on behalf of victims of sexual abuse, particularly children, has been central to Harris’s political identity for the better part of three decades. Harris specialized in prosecuting sex crimes and child exploitation as a young prosecutor just out of law school. She later touted her record on child sexual abuse cases and prosecuting pedophiles in television advertisements, splashy profiles, and on the trail as she campaigned for public office.

But when it came to taking on the Catholic Church, survivors of clergy sexual abuse say that Harris turned a blind eye, refusing to take action against clergy members accused of sexually abusing children when it meant confronting one of the city’s most powerful political institutions.

In her seven years as district attorney, Harris’s office did not proactively assist in civil cases against clergy sex abuse and ignored requests by activists and survivors to access the cache of investigative files that could have helped them secure justice, according to several victims of clergy sex abuse living in California who spoke to The Intercept.

WindDancer13

Question: Is anyone familiar with the group Indivisible dot org? I suddenly started getting email from them. Given the results of their reader poll, I do not think they are as progressive as they claim.

magsview

I’ve been at least somewhat skeptical of them (some chapters seem better than others) ever since Heather Heyer died. After Heather was murdered, Indivisible caused a certain amount of grumbling in Charlottesville amongst local activists. I’ll try to find more on that.

But then there’s that stupid unity pledge. This was just over two months ago:

A national progressive group, Indivisible, is asking the 20 candidates in the Democratic presidential race to sign a pledge promising a positive, “constructive” primary that ends with all participants coming together to support the eventual nominee — “whoever it is — period….”

The Indivisible document asks candidates to agree to three terms: “make the primary constructive” and “respect the other candidates”; “rally behind the winner”; and “do the work to beat” President Donald Trump. “Immediately after there’s a nominee, I’ll endorse,” the pledge reads.

For me the jury is still out on that group. I hope to be proven wrong.

humphrey

Personally I wouldn’t touch them with a ten foot pole!

They are tied in with Clinton’s “Onward Together”.

https://www.onwardtogether.org/mission/

Onward Together is dedicated to advancing the vision that earned nearly 66 million votes in the 2016 election.

https://www.onwardtogether.org/organizations/

As a matter of fact any of the groups listed here are not worth supporting.

humphrey

polarbear4

🤮🤢🤮🤢🤮🤢

WindDancer13

Thanks! That seals it for me then.

The only other one I get email from is Color of Change. I will unsub from Indivisible, and watch Color of Change very closely . . . no money for any of them, of course.

humphrey

Here is a link to a more radical group. They have some interesting articles.

https://blackagendareport.com/

I don’t necessarily agree with all of them.👌

magsview

I did not know that. You on the pulse Humphrey!

WindDancer13

Thanks! I had checked the online poll they did and the members overwhelmingly went with Harris which sent up a red flag for me.

Positive, constructive primary . . . Bernie said that at the start of his campaign. Somehow they squeezed Harris’ going after Biden into some weird form of positive and constructive. I am glad she did it, but it does not fit the parameters of their pledge.

magsview

but it does not fit the parameters of their pledge

Nope!

Is SO did not, in fact, that there is talk of a ‘low blow’ and such.

polarbear4

my impression is that they are more McResistance than Resistance.

WindDancer13

Thanks! They are about to get blocked then.

magsview

magsview

I missed this-Justin Raimondo died the other day. He was co-founder of Antiwar.com.

magsview

polarbear4


this doesn’t sit well

magsview

How ridiculous can you get? Especially in this day of computer/network forensics.

humphrey

humphrey

polarbear4


Remotely accessed on multiple occasions by unknown computer.

polarbear4

humphrey

humphrey

The tarbell article is quite informative. One of the speakers is that doofus Chuck Todd.

WindDancer13

Update:

About a week or so ago, I posted about the ATT&T Access program.

The program is available in 21 states, and the max speed is 10 Mbps which is sufficient for one computer or device at a time to do streaming (in fact it is twice as much as needed for most services). Depending on location, the speed could be less.

The max price is $10/mo; although, I do not know yet what taxes and fees will be, but it sure won’t be the $60/mo I was paying to Comcast. While it is a significantly lower speed, there is only one of me so there should not be any problems at all.

The main qualification is to be a SNAP recipient. California has some additional ways to qualify.

The program is due (according to their current information) to expire in April 2020, but if a person signs up between now and then, they will get a full year at this price. One of the customer service people implied that it may go longer, but for now a year with a major reduction in costs is beyond fantastic.

It did take a while today to get the modem/router working correctly but all is good now and I am not seeing any problems with it. I also got lucky, and a technician stopped by and added a new phone jack at no charge. He talked to me because I had the door open. LOL. This is not a norm with me but I was looking for air (90 F today at 7:30 pm in So Michigan sucks).

Anyway, just wanted to let people know about this deal so they can pass it along to someone who needs it.

WindDancer13

On right now! With Tina and Shakir! 7:30 pm est

https://www.twitch.tv/bernie_sanders

magsview

So cool! Listening to Nina is like getting an adrenalin shot (or so I imagine, lol).

magsview

I think LD may have started a new thread.

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