I’m getting as much done early as I can, because I expect a very busy day. Sometime this afternoon my interim prosthetic leg will arrive. I will use it for about six months, shrink out of it, and have a new cup made. Today I will take my first baby steps on two feet. I also expect visits from PT and OT. OT plans to help me use the shower. I’ll just have to suffer through that.
The CDC estimates that nearly 20 million new STD infections happen each year in the U.S., with the majority affecting 15 to 24-year-olds.
Reports of gonorrhea and syphilis also increased in 2014. There was a 2.8% increase in chlamydia since 2013, and reports of syphilis, which has three stages, increased for the most infectious stages of the disease by 15.1%.
One of the reasons for this rise in STDs is the war being waged on public health in this country over the last couple of decades.
The increase in STDs is in many ways a result of cuts in funding to public health clinics, Gail Bolan, director of CDC’s Division of STD Prevention, told NBC.
“Most recently, there have been significant erosions of state and local STD control programs,” Bolan said. “Most people don’t recognize that the direct clinical care of individuals with sexually transmitted diseases is supported by state and local funds and federal funds.”
This leads to men and women not getting tested and treated early, before further infections occur. As the CDC report notes, it’s not particularly economic to cut our public health and then have to pay it out on the other end.
This is a direct result of the Republican sequester. Thanks, Republicans!
From The New Yorker: In an announcement on Monday morning, Pfizer, the big drug company, whose headquarters are on East 42nd Street, in Manhattan, said that it is merging with one of its competitors, Allergan PLC. Ian Read, a Scottish-born accountant who is Pfizer’s chairman and chief executive, said that the proposed deal, which is valued at a hundred and sixty billion dollars, would “create a leading global pharmaceutical company with the strength to research, discover and deliver more medicines and therapies to more people around the world.”
On Wall Street and in the world of big pharma, that statement will raise chuckles. It is widely acknowledged that the primary impetus for the deal is a financial one. In merging with Allergan, which is based in Dublin, Pfizer intends to move its corporate residency to Ireland, where the corporate tax rate is just 12.5 per cent, compared to thirty-five per cent for a company of its size in the United States. Over the next few years, the merger could save Pfizer billions of dollars in taxes and deprive the U.S. Treasury of the same amount.
Tax-driven deals of this nature are known as “inversions,” and they are becoming increasingly common. Burger King, Liberty Global, and Medtronic are among the U.S. corporations to have carried out mergers that moved their headquarters abroad. Last year, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said that inversions were “wrong,” and that he would try and restrict them. Only last week, the Treasury Department issued some new administrative guidelines in this area. Without actual legislation, though, there isn’t very much the Obama Administration can do to prevent these exercises in corporate tax-dodging, and Republicans on Capitol Hill have displayed little eagerness to coöperate in a crackdown.
It’s simple. If a company wants to do business in our marketplace, they should have to pay taxes here. To make this happen we must flush the Republican Party.
From NY Times: For more than a year, a rare coalition of liberal groups and libertarian-minded conservatives has joined the Obama administration in pushing for the most significant liberalization of America’s criminal justice laws since the beginning of the drug war. That effort has had perhaps no ally more important than Koch Industries, the conglomerate owned by a pair of brothers who are well-known conservative billionaires.
Now, as Congress works to turn those goals into legislation, that joint effort is facing its most significant test — over a House bill that Koch Industries says would make the criminal justice system fairer, but that the Justice Department says would make it significantly harder to prosecute corporate polluters, producers of tainted food and other white-collar criminals.
The tension among the unlikely allies emerged over the last week as the House Judiciary Committee, with bipartisan support, approved a package of bills intended to simplify the criminal code and reduce unnecessarily severe sentences.
This makes it crystal clear that Republicans really don’t give a damn about sentencing reform. They’re just using it to mask protecting big corporate criminals from responsibility for their crimes.