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Member since: Thu Jul 6, 2006, 12:17 AM
Number of posts: 27,043

Journal Archives

Obama's Long War of Foreverness

For The Number Crunchers

Pew Research Center: We're Hiring

February 20, 2015

We're hiring.

We have quite a few open positions at the Pew Research Center — and we are looking for everything from interns to administrative coordinators to research staff. Check them out here and drop a note in our “Ask” box if you have any questions.

Have a great weekend!

Greece, eurozone agree to extend bailout deal by 4 months

- As I thought would happen, Germany is trying to bluff their way through this. But it won't work this time and they blinked, first. Syriza knows what time it is, and they have nothing to lose. Germany on the other hand, has plenty to lose. And lose. And lose. And lose. And lose some more.

But then, Germany let this happen because of their greed. They knew the books were cooked from the start. And now they must decide if they want to re-work this deal and take a massive haircut, or let the chips fall where they may. The Italian chip. The Spanish chip. The Portuguese chip. And the Irish chip are the ones next in-line. The Italian chip will hurt the most though......

Germany Gives Greece Just Enough Rope: Varoufakis Says If Troika Rejects Reforms "The Deal Is Dead And Buried"

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 02/20/2015 16:28 -0500

As usual, the fine print of any European "deal" is revealed not only after the agreement, but after the US market close. So for all those waiting for the real punchline, here it is - it also is the reason why Greece got until Monday to reveal the list of "reforms" it would undertake:

"We’re in trouble next week if creditors don’t accept Greece’s reforms", Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis says. "If our list of reforms is not backed by the institutions, this agreement is dead and buried." That's bad. But... "But it’s not going to be knocked down by the institutions."


Wolfgang Schauble looks like he needs to layoff the knockwurst and get more fiber in his diet........

Click Here Only If You Want Infinite Chocolate

- It works with dark chocolate too!

And wooden blocks, but who eats those???

Cannabis Has Been Studied More Than Many FDA Approved Pharmaceuticals

By Paul Armentano · Fri Jan 24, 2014

Opponents of legalizing cannabis for medicinal purposes are fond of arguing that the plant must be subjected to the same standards of clinical study and FDA review as conventional medicines. What they fail to mention is that cannabis and its active components have already been subjected to a greater degree of scientific scrutiny than many FDA-approved pharmaceuticals.

According to a just-published analysis of some 200 newly FDA-approved medications, few conventional drugs are tested in multiple, large-scale clinical assessing safety and efficacy trials prior to market approval. “{A}bout a third won approval on the basis of a single clinical trial, and many other trials involved small groups of patients and shorter durations,” reports The Washington Post in its summary of the study, which appears in the January edition of The Journal of the American Medical Association. “Only about 40 percent of approvals included trials in which the new drug was compared with existing drugs on the market.”

By comparison, there exists over 20,000 published studies or reviews in the scientific literature referencing the cannabis plant and its cannabinoids, nearly half of which were published within the last five years, according to a keyword search on PubMed Central, the government repository for peer-reviewed scientific research. Of these, more than 100 are controlled clinical trials assessing the therapeutic efficacy of cannabinoids for a variety of indications.

A 2006 review of 72 of these trials, conducted between the years 1975 and 2004, identifies ten distinct pathologies for which controlled studies on cannabinoids have been published. The review concludes that these trial data “affirm that cannabinoids exhibit an interesting therapeutic potential as anti-emetics, appetite stimulants in debilitating diseases (cancer and AIDS), analgesics, as well as in the treatment of multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, Tourette syndrome, epilepsy and glaucoma.”


Speedo Sinks Alaska Gov’s Appointee

Posted by Jeanne Devon on Thursday, February 12, 2015 ·

Amid a firestorm of gasps, giggles, and moral outrage, Alaska’s Governor Bill Walker (I) has withdrawn from consideration an appointee to the Alaska Commission on Judicial Conduct.

Jeff Landfield’s own conduct came under scrutiny after several Facebook photos came to light, which the governor’s spokesperson Grace Jang said were “disrespectful” and “misogynistic,” a characterization Landfield disputes. No specific images were cited, but Landfield’s personal Facebook page is a cornucopia of party pics, poolside Las Vegas romps, and boozy musings.

The position Landfield hoped to take for the Walker administration handles complaints filed against state judges – an unpaid appointment which would have required legislative confirmation. Landfield currently chairs the Anchorage Federation of Community Councils, and is a former candidate for the Alaska State Senate. He ran a primary challenge against Republican incumbent Lesil McGuire in 2012. She still occupies her seat, currently chairs the Judiciary Committee, and would have overseen the confirmation – requiring a vote of the full legislative body.


- Alaskan politics should be broadcast as a reality show. It could help replace the lost revenues since oil prices went south.....

How Sweet It Is

- Okay, this is becoming embarrassing ya'll. Thank you for the hearts you guys......

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Tobacco

- This episode is destined to be a classic!

Wile E. Coyote, Supergenius

- This is like those stories of winning the lottery and then the person having their life implode right after. Except in this case they find Jayzus and it's everybody else that suffers......

Are Your Medications Safe?

Are Your Medications Safe?
The FDA buries evidence of fraud in medical trials. My students and I dug it up.

By Charles Seife

Agents of the Food and Drug Administration know better than anyone else just how bad scientific misbehavior can get. Reading the FDA’s inspection files feels almost like watching a highlights reel from a Scientists Gone Wild video. It’s a seemingly endless stream of lurid vignettes—each of which catches a medical researcher in an unguarded moment, succumbing to the temptation to do things he knows he really shouldn’t be doing. Faked X-ray reports. Forged retinal scans. Phony lab tests. Secretly amputated limbs. All done in the name of science when researchers thought that nobody was watching.

That misconduct happens isn’t shocking. What is: When the FDA finds scientific fraud or misconduct, the agency doesn’t notify the public, the medical establishment, or even the scientific community that the results of a medical experiment are not to be trusted. On the contrary. For more than a decade, the FDA has shown a pattern of burying the details of misconduct. As a result, nobody ever finds out which data is bogus, which experiments are tainted, and which drugs might be on the market under false pretenses.

The FDA has repeatedly hidden evidence of scientific fraud not just from the public, but also from its most trusted scientific advisers, even as they were deciding whether or not a new drug should be allowed on the market. Even a congressional panel investigating a case of fraud regarding a dangerous drug couldn't get forthright answers. For an agency devoted to protecting the public from bogus medical science, the FDA seems to be spending an awful lot of effort protecting the perpetrators of bogus science from the public.

Much of my research has to do with follies, foibles, and fraud in science, and I knew that the FDA wasn’t exactly bending over backward to correct the scientific record when its inspectors found problems during clinical trials. So as part of my investigative reporting class at New York University, my students and I set out to find out just how bad the problem was—and how much important information the FDA was keeping under wraps.


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