NYT

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Paul Krugman is back with a great op-ed in Monday morning’s NYT. Here’s the point of his piece, taken from the second paragraph:

But there’s a problem: conservative politicians, clinging to an out-of-date ideology — and, perhaps, betting (wrongly) that their constituents are relatively well positioned to ride out the storm — are standing in the way of action.

There are already a goodly number of comments on Paul’s piece. Here’s one comment that sums up the situation perfectly in my estimation:

As a historian, I am utterly shocked by the response to this economic crisis by Conservative Republicans in Washington and Chancellor Merkel’s response in Germany. What planet are these people on? Have they ever opened up a history book? I hate to say it but it almost seems as if these people have absolutely lost their minds. Here in the U.S., I do feel that these Republicans are simply trying to score political points with their out-of-date ideology by killing another powerful labor union. Meanwhile, the middle class continues to shrink at an alarming rate. Companies like the Big 3 and other major manufacturers provide this country with thousands and thousands of middle-class decent paying jobs. However, all I hear from Republicans at my university and everywhere else is that any intervention is “socialism” or “communism” or part of some internationalist conspiracy for one world government. The Red Scare is over people and McCarthy has long been dead. Why do we keep bringing back these McCarthyist rants during these times of crisis? The truth is these economic conservatives have absolutely no clue what it is like working in a factory and being on the bottom of the ladder, struggling to make ends meet every month. All they want to do is criticize workers for wanting to make a decent wage that actually keeps up with inflation. What is wrong with that? Of course, these Conservative Republicans would have no problem voting for a raise for themselves. But at the second a poor man comes to them for help or wanting health care, they stick their noses in the air. Mr. Krugman, I hate to say this but if something is not done soon with this economic situation, this country is going to fall apart beyond description. What will it take for these people to understand the situation? Do people literally have to be starving to death in the streets, fighting for food, jumping out of windows, killing themselves in their forclosed homes before they notice the problem? I mean come on: it came out the other day that we have been in a recession since December of 2007….it took them this long to notice and fess up? We need to start acting with depression economics now before it is too late. It is time for a Kenyesian revolution now more than ever. The solution is staring in the face of not just the United States but the entire international community as a whole. Why will they not accept that their completely free-market ideology has failed them?

— Matt, Ball State University

Right! Their completely free-market ideology has failed them! And us! Let’s take some action. But we’re still in that state of limbo until Bush finally goes. :roll:

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I spotted an article in the NYT online today, The Evidence Gap: The Minimal Impact of a Big Hypertension Study which at first I thought I’d bypass but then decided, what the heck, I’ll read it. Toward the end of the first page I suddenly came across mention of my least favorite medication, Cardura.

The article is about a massive hypertension study called ALLHAT, short for Antihypertensive and Lipid-Lowering Treatment to Prevent Heart Attack Trial.

The purpose of the ALLHAT was to compare four drugs for effectiveness on people over age 55, a diuretic called chlorthalidone; an ACE inhibitor called lisinopril; a calcium channel blocker called amlodipine; and an alpha blocker called doxazosin, which Pfizer sold as Cardura.

Ah, there’s my old “friend”, Cardura — who was supposed to keep me from peeing in the night but instead knocked me out cold — as part of a big study. What did they find out about it?, I wondered.

Well. I didn’t have to wait long for the answer. Here’s the very next paragraph in the article:
Pfizer’s bet on Cardura proved a big mistake. As the Allhat data came in, patients taking Cardura were nearly twice as likely as those receiving the diuretic to require hospitalization for heart failure, a condition in which the heart cannot pump blood adequately. Concerned, the Heart, Lung and Blood Institute announced in March 2000 that it had stopped the Cardura part of the trial. Ha ha. Cardura went out in 2000 and yet I take it in 2008. Amazing!

Perhaps the reason I took that Cardura pill on November 1, 2008, was that Pfizer didn’t like losing its bet on Cardura and fought back like a giant corporation. They managed to defeat a lawsuit by two patients who then went the route of a Citizen Petition. Read all about it here.

The Citizen Petition brought the FDA into the fray, a year after the original findings of the ALLHAT. Some of the outside experts at the FDA meeting claimed the ALLHAT data were not accurate while other experts disagreed. The FDA considered the net result a wash, and so, no warning was issued to doctors and patients about Cardura.

Well, I’d like to issue my own warning!

Here ye! Here ye! Here ye! I, Marden H. Seavey, issue my own warning about the dangerous medication Cardura. It caused me to faint and crash on our bathroom floor injuring my back and rib cage musculature, and I’m still sore a month later.

Worse, the little 2mg Cardura pill lowered my heart rate into the 30’s which worried the doctors at the hospital until the rate finally recovered. This was about eight hours after I had passed out. A cardiovascular specialist has given me thoroughgoing tests (echo cardiogram and Holter monitor for 24 hours), and now declares I don’t have to see him for a year.

His warning to me: Just don’t take Cardura!

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That One

Cynthia and I watched the debate from beginning to end, on C-Span — no talking heads for us. McCain came out at the beginning as sharp, clear, and focused, a better communicator than Obama. But that didn’t last long. After a while it was clear that at least Obama had thoughtful, well-constructed answers, especially under the time constraints and the fact that responses were not allowed, although Obama managed to get a few in anyway. It became clear that McCain was lying a lot of the time, or simply mis-informed. Obama may have been gilding the lily a little but at least he had trains of thought in his answers. McCain tended to jump around a lot, and kept opening with “My friends” which came across as phony after a while. His worse moment was when he thought he was being cute with that snide side-pointing at Obama as “that one”. Of course, I’ve been reading what others have been saying: Josh Marshall, Kevin Drum, NYT editorial, plus several more in this vein. The snap polls have all given the debate to “That One” by a solid margin.

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At last! Liberals are getting the praise they should be getting! Thanks to the Op-Ed, Hold Your Heads Up, in the NYT this morning by Bob Herbert! Let me say right out front: Anything good that’s happened in America has been the result of the actions of liberals!

Do I exaggerate? Not at all. I am sick and tired of the lousy media we have in this country supporting the claims of the right wing loonies, the poisonous mythologies they’ve been spreading, especially since that phony actor, Ronald Reagan got into power, but even before.

Well, Bob Herbert gives the many reasons why liberals are the ones that have been responsible for any greatness this country has achieved. He expresses it better than I. Give him a gander!

Oh, and here’s the link to the comments on his Op-Ed.

Also, Eric Alterman has a great book out, Why We’re Liberals: A Political Handbook for Post-Bush America. Eric’s another person proud to be a liberal. So, liberal friends, let’s not hide our heads under bushels of right wing propaganda! Let’s emerge into the daylight!!
YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

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OK, OK, too many posts on Sarah Palin! I promise this will be my last one. (I hope…) The NYT Op-Ed by that old neocon, Bill Kristol has already garnered over 200 overwhelmingly negative comments, this morning. The main thrust of his article is that Sarah Palin will win all the “Wal-Mart Mom” votes and that she herself is a “Wal-Mart Mom”!

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