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ViseGrip's Journal
ViseGrip's Journal
January 21, 2016

These are the world’s best countries. (Sorry, America — you’re No. 4.)

By Niraj Chokshi January 21 at 9:08 AM 

The world's 5 best countries
 

The inaugural "Best Countries" ranking was unveiled at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday, Jan. 20. Here are the top 5 countries according to U.S. News & World Report. (The Washington Post)

The votes are in, America, and the best country in the world is ...

(Drum roll, please.)

It's Germany. Sorry, United States, you're fourth — right behind third-ranked Britain and second-ranked Canada. But, hey, America beat Sweden!

That's according to the inaugural "Best Countries" ranking from U.S. News & World Report, the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School and global brand consultants BAV Consulting. The ranking was officially unveiled at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday.

“Just as we have done with universities, hospitals and other institutions, our Best Countries portal will be a global homepage for stories and data to help citizens, business leaders and governments evaluate performance in a rapidly changing world,” Mortimer B. Zuckerman, chairman and editor-in-chief of U.S. News, said in a statement. The publication is known the world over for many of its rankings.

Germany secured its top spot for a number of reasons, its economy key among them. The country is also, as U.S. News notes in a country profile, home to low unemployment, popular around the world, known for its high-quality brands and adept at using soft power abroad. And U.S. News credits Germany's leadership for its global rise.

"Germany's ascendance as a world leader comes largely from the work of [Chancellor Angela] Merkel," Drew writes. "Only the third German since World War II to hold the chancellorship for a decade or more, Merkel has shown decisive leadership on several issues. That is a change. Traditionally, Germans are consensus seekers who have chosen multilateral strategies over acting in a singularized manner."

Naturally, the rankings prompted official responses from officials around the world.

What is missing that is in 'print', is the fact that Canada was ranked number one in this survey for 'quality of life'. Canada keeps the waters open to public, not the elite, AND their healthcare system. People can plan families, and never worry if they get sick, or worry if they are well, and they might get sick. Our system has bankrupted our happy carefree way of life, many of us knew long ago. It exists no more. We must get the power back into our hands, and take it away from the corporations who now write our laws, via campaign contributions. This is why I support Bernie Sanders. The rot from within, but be bored out of our country.

January 21, 2016

For the U.S. to have a real national healthcare program, this is what must be fixed

House lawmakers have issued a subpoena to compel Martin Shkreli, the former pharmaceutical executive reviled for price-gouging, to appear at a congressional hearing next Tuesday


WASHINGTON (AP) — House lawmakers have issued a subpoena to compel former Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli, reviled for price-gouging, to appear at a congressional hearing next Tuesday.

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is investigating several companies for exorbitant drug price increases, including embattled Canadian drugmaker Valeant Pharmaceuticals.

Shkreli became notorious after his company Turing hiked the price of Daraprim, the only approved drug for a rare and sometimes deadly parasitic infection, by 5,000 percent. Since then, Shkreli has been deluged with criticism from patients, politicians and the media, with some labeling him the "most hated man in America."

Last month, the 32-year-old former hedge fund manager was arrested in New York and charged with securities fraud and conspiracy related to another pharmaceutical company he previously ran called Retrophin. Shkreli pleaded not guilty and was released on $5 million bail. He resigned as CEO of Turing, which he founded and ran.

He could not immediately be reached for comment Wednesday evening.

The House committee issued the demand January 11 under chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, according to a copy obtained by the Associated Press on Wednesday.

"I have been trying for the better part of a year to get information from Martin Shkreli about his outrageous price increases, and he has obstructed our investigation at every turn," said Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland, the committee's ranking Democrat.

Turing and Valeant Pharmaceuticals both previously refused requests for documents from Cummings and other Democrats.

The committee is also seeking testimony from Turing's chief commercial officer, Nancy Retzlaff, Valeant Pharmaceutical's interim CEO, Howard Schiller, and experts from government and the private sector. Calls placed to New York-based Turing were not immediately returned.

A spokeswoman for Laval, Quebec-based Valeant confirmed that Schiller will testify next week. He was named interim CEO earlier this month after the company's chairman and CEO, J. Michael Pearson, was hospitalized for severe pneumonia.

Concerns about sky-high drug prices have been building for years but boiled over last fall after news reports about Turing, Valeant and a handful of other drugmakers hiking prices of old drugs many times over their prior cost.

Valeant drew Congress' interest following its purchase of the life-saving heart drugs Nitropress and Isuprel. The company, known for gobbling up smaller drugmakers to get their products and then slashing jobs and research programs, jacked up the drugs' prices shortly after buying them from Marathon Pharmaceuticals in February, tripling one and raising the other six-fold.

Daraprim, which Turing acquired in August, is the only approved drug for a life-threatening parasitic infection that mainly strikes pregnant women, cancer patients and AIDS patients.

Amid mounting criticism from patients, doctors and politicians, Shkreli pledged to lower Daraprim's price, but later reneged and instead offered hospitals a 50 percent discount — still amounting to a 2,500 percent increase. Patients normally take most of the weeklong treatment at home, so they still face the 5,000 percent price increase, though Turing is offering financial aid to those who can't afford the drug.

Both Turing and Valeant have also received multiple subpoenas from federal prosecutors seeking information about drug pricing and other business practices.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


This is what congress and Wall Street allow folks....only the USA allows this shit from Big Pharma, no cost controls. And just look at the greed! Our healthcare system has ruined our economy, along with NAFTA.

January 18, 2016

Bernie reminds everyone about the $600,000.00 Hillary got from Goldman Sachs for speeches!!!

Bernie's message is so important. If we don't get the money out of politics, nothing will change. NOTHING.

January 18, 2016

Bernie waited for Hillary but she turned and walked away! That felt horrible!

All said good night and Bernie waited for Hillary to continue speaking to another, then she turned and walked away. You could see it was deliberate and it looked horrible!

January 16, 2016

What Chelsea Clinton could have said....

There are so many things Chelsea could have talked about, shared with the outside world.
Let me give you a wonderful example:

I attended a $500 speech her father Bill gave a few years ago. He said that when he was president and Chelsea was doing her homework in grade school, he was on the phone with Nelson Mandela. He then told Chelsea to "get on the phone and say hello and talk to Nelson Mandela for a minute, because this is the most important man you'll ever speak with in your entire life." She took the phone and said hello, and told him she was doing her school work.

I am sure there are so many of these awesome opportunities bestowed upon her, because of who her parents are. How nice it would have been to share that with the public she was sent to speak with, and for the country to get to know her. She could have explained how as parents they never took any of it for granted and wanted to share it with her too, even though she was just a child. There are many wonderful things I'm sure, just like this she could have shared. The good side of Hillary and Bill, and as 'parents'.

Instead, we got to see them send their daughter out on her first political hack job, against another democrat. It's very transparent now that they have been grooming her. What a big mistake. You have to like someone first before then can get away with such shenanigans. But we don't really know Chelsea and she should have been sent out for positive meet n greets.

The good that has come out of this? We know exactly who these people are now. All three of them. If it took a license to have kids, I'd take theirs away. Did Chelsea believe she was ready for this and this is how she should conduct herself out in public? I hope Chelsea Clinton stays away from elected office herself. This family is like a soulless machine.

Very disappointing indeed....

Bill also spoke about Medicare and how people with more money need to pay more or something. He said changes had to come and most people $$ in the room weren't going to like it. He went on to say he became a 'burden on the system', because it was true he loved donuts and McDonald's. He finally had a heart attack, and became a burden on the system.

So you see? Bill can eat and do whatever he wants and be a burden on Medicare, but those habits had to change for the rest of us. It was at that moment someone in the audience yelled out "why is someone like you who makes 220 million a year EVEN ON MEDICARE?" "Why wouldn't you go get a private policy if Medicare is so strained?" Bill did not respond, he just continued with he speech.

Not everyone can pay to attend such a speech, my ticket was a Christmas gift. So I wanted to share what I learned that evening, things that Chelsea could have talked about with voters, and who these people really are.

January 15, 2016

Hey Marco, our own contractors sell women and children too. Not just ISIS! See DynCorp

It's Déjà Vu for DynCorp All Over Again (Bosnia)


Then they did it again in Afghanistan...see 'The Boys of Afghanistan'

Then, we gave them ANOTHER CONTRACT. So be very careful Marco!

January 13, 2016

Hillary sent her daughter out to lie, and her daughter knowingly did lie. What does this mean?

For me, it's serious character flaws, there is plenty that separates them such as reinstating Glass Steagall. To go after healthcare with such lies, is despicable. This is why I cannot support a Clinton, ever again. Our country has been changed, from Bill's policies and not for the better.

But sending out Chelsea to lie, and Chelsea is no dummy, I have lost all respect for her as well.

Is this how a mother uses a daughter? Not my mother. She has crossed a line, and it's all over the news that what Chelsea said was 'untrue', 'not true', every other definition of a LIE.

This is so sad, after Senator Sanders was so respectful of her. He's smart enough to know she'll step in it all on her own. And she just did. I just lost all respect for Hillary, and I was a former supporter while this time I chose Bernie Sanders.

January 13, 2016

I am hearing Obama touting right wing proposals for unemployment similar to Rick Scott of FLA.

I heard a few right leaning things....and several that make Paul Ryan happy. Paul Ryan is the most feared congressional office holder for me.....and if I didn't know any better, I'd think I was watching a right wing president.

Don't attack me, this is how hIS speech makes me feel. It's all laced with stuff I cannot stand. If it's no right leaning, it doesn't really go far enough to the left to help. I'm sick of this shit.


January 5, 2016

Review of Bill Clintons policies enacted/ended in the 1990's. WOW! She's good!

Nothing needs to be added to this...including the media consolidation under the Communications Act of 1996.

This covers so much of why I support Bernie Sanders!
January 1, 2016

State Department misses court-ordered goal on Clinton email release

State Department misses court-ordered goal on Clinton email release
• New York Times
Thursday, December 31, 2015 10:35am

5,500 pages of Hillary Clinton’s emails were released.

WASHINGTON — The State Department fell short of a court order requiring the release of the vast bulk of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's emails by the end of 2015 but promised Thursday to catch up early in the new year.

Just hours before the year ended, the department disclosed another 5,500 pages of Clinton's messages in its latest monthly release. But it acknowledged that it would not meet the target set by a federal judge of producing 82 percent of her emails by the end of December.

"We have worked diligently to come as close to the goal as possible, but with the large number of documents involved and the holiday schedule, we have not met the goal this month," the department said in a statement. "To narrow that gap, the State Department will make another production of former Secretary Clinton's email sometime next week."

Last May, Judge Rudolph Contreras of U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ordered the State Department to release Clinton's emails on a rolling basis each month in response to a lawsuit filed by Vice News under the Freedom of Information Act. He specified no penalties for any violations.

The department has released thousands of pages of the emails — which were housed on a private server in Clinton's home — on the last day of each month and is supposed to complete the disclosure by Jan. 29.

The emails posted Thursday provided a further glimpse into the cloistered and sometimes caustic world of Clinton's entourage during her four-year stint as the nation's top diplomat. On display once again were the rivalries and insecurities in her circle as she represented to the outside world the man who beat her for the presidency.

One ally confided to her that Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany did not care for "the Obama phenomenon," while another urged immediate aid to Libya if Moammar Gadhafi were to fall, as he later did. Some of her advisers did little to hide their disdain for President Barack Obama's aides, while Clinton herself fretted about reports that she did not exercise enough influence in the White House. "Pls go through my schedules and count my visits to refute this and correct record," Clinton wrote an aide in response to a "ridiculous column" on the number of times she had visited the White House.

Subordinates and outsiders lavished praise on her. Henry A. Kissinger, perhaps her most famous living predecessor, wrote in 2012 seeking help to declassify some of his papers, ending with this handwritten note: "I greatly admire the skill and aplomb with which you conduct our foreign policy."

The sometimes Byzantine nature of Clinton's orbit was summed up in one email from Philippe Reines, who designed an irreverent flow chart to determine who should ride in her limousine while she traveled abroad. "Ambassador Tolerable?" one entry asked. If yes, he or she got to ride in the car. If not, Clinton would ride without the intolerable envoy.

Sidney Blumenthal, a longtime friend who regularly provided advice, scorned "Gibbs' and Axelrod's rock bottom performances exposing utter political vacuity on the Sunday shows," referring to Robert Gibbs and David Axelrod, two close Obama aides.

Blumenthal was the one who passed along advice about Merkel in 2009 from John Kornblum, who was Bill Clinton's ambassador to Germany. "He says she dislikes the atmospherics surrounding the Obama phenomenon, that it's contrary to her whole idea of politics and how to conduct oneself in general," Blumenthal wrote.

As for Clinton, she continued to struggle with technology. "I've had big problems w my blackberry, which has been having a nervous breakdown on my dime!" she wrote one day.
With the latest releases, more than 1,200 messages have been found to contain classified information. But even some of those released Thursday were redacted heavily under a privacy exemption.

State Department misses court-ordered goal on Clinton email release 12/31/15 [Last modified: Thursday, December 31, 2015 10:23pm]
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