Friday, February 25, 2005

The FDA is broken

About a third of the people voting on whether to reinstate drugs like Vioxx have industry ties (AKA used to work for them). Reinstating a drug, especially one like Vioxx is highly political and highly subject to bias.

The Times reports
: "If the 10 advisers [with Big Pharma ties] had not cast their votes, the committee would have voted 12 to 8 that Bextra should be withdrawn and 14 to 8 that Vioxx should not return to the market. The 10 advisers with company ties voted 9 to 1 to keep Bextra on the market and 9 to 1 for Vioxx's return."

I really is disgusting to see such naked corruption. My doctor sister tells me stories about those drug reps who go into hositials and conventions and try to sell the drugs to MDs via freebies, sexiness, and maybe its clinical value.

The system is broken, and I don't trust the overly corporate cozy Bush administration to fix it.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

The honeymoon is over

It seems like people in California realized that they have a Republican bodyguard for a governor. Arnorld's approval ratings are now 55%, which would be a gigantic mandate for George W. Bush but is an all time low for the Terminator.

And now there is more bad news for Arnold: "The Field Poll found voters approve of the idea of a special election 51 percent to 45 percent until they're told it would cost $50 million to $70 million. Then they oppose it more than 2-to-1 — 67 percent to 30 percent."

And my friends, the Field Poll never lies, it is ALWAYS right or the closest to dead on of any of the polls.

More interesting for me is that "The plan to take redistricting away from the Legislature and give those duties to a panel of retired judges was supported by 48 percent of voters and opposed by 40 percent." It might just pass, yes!

I think California is a prime example of how uncompetitive races can be if you get your computer programs right. I hate redistricting, but I don't think a special election is necessary. Let those incumbents sweat it out until November 2006.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

vocab quiz

That's all that property really is, an elaborate method of confusing law students and clients so that law professors and lawyers can keep raking in fees and screwing people over for something they should be able to do by themselves.

If we stopped using terms from the 14th century, maybe more of this would make sense.

On a semi-related topic (at least in my crazed mind) those taped coversations with George W. Bush reveal to me that our current president is very smart/clever indeed. All these stupid things he says are done on purpose so as to build up an image of a "regular guy," especially amoung Southerners. After all, Bush is about as elitist and east coast establistment as John Forbes Kerry, but Kerry only speaks in Senate and Bush speaks in fake drawl. Look which one worked.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Quote of the day

"This notion that the United States is getting ready to attack Iran is simply ridiculous. Having said that, all options are on the table"--President Bush today.

Trying to have it both ways again George?

Draft Condi?

One of the weirdest and funniest things to me is conservatives' obsession with Condi Rice as a political candidate (before Arnold, they wanted her to run for governor in her native California). Sure she is good at lying through that big gap in her front teeth, and sure she is loyal to Bush, but what else does she have going for her? Being a black woman? Ask Carol Mosley-Braun how that worked out. Other black GOPers haven't fared so well, like Clarence Thomas (laughing stock of the supreme court), Colin Powell (laughing stock of the international community) and JC Watts (what ever happened to him?).

Condi's in love with GW, and that is about it. She's been dead wrong on nearly every call she's made in the White House, and incompetent to boot. If GOPers really think this is their best match-up to Hillary in 2008, we are going to win in a walk. [as is Hillary in 2006 in NY: she has 69% approval ratings, 49% among GOPers]

Among the highlights of the 32nd Annual CPAC [Conservative PAC] event was a WH '08 straw poll conducted by GOP pollster Tony Frabrizio and his firm. Rudy Giuliani came out on top with 19%, narrowly edging Sec/State Condi Rice at 18%. Rice was the beneficiary of "intensive campaigning by her supporters, who donned 'Draft Rice in 2008' buttons and stickers. Bill Frist tied for third place with George Allen and John McCain at 11%. Other GOPers on the ballot were Newt Gingrich and George Pataki. [American Conservative Union] ACU pres. David Keene said it was significant that no candidate topped 20%. And Keene emphasized that the question to CPAC participants was not who do you want to be the WH '08 GOP nominee, but who do you think will be the WH '08 nominee. Giuliani is "not considered conservative."

MSGOP's Scarborough: "I have got to tell you, again, I've been to CPAC before. These are the true believers. They drink the Kool-Aid" ("Scarborough Country," 2/21).

The Draft Condi Rice for POTUS folks were all over the CPAC conference, telling anyone who would listen that they were a serious organization (registered as a 527, no less) and that they were starting radio ads on 2/18 on every Clear Channel [read: Republican] station in IA. The folks at Americans for Rice-Dot Com have posted their 15-second radio ad. Full transcript:

ANNCR: " is the website for the 527 organization dedicated to electing Dr. Condoleezza Rice President in 2008. is not approved by any candidate or party. Visit today."

In addition to the radio spot, one can download a rock song ("Condoleeza Will Lead Us") supporting Rice for just $.99 (Hotline reporting, 2/18).'s Crystal Dueker, on their reception at CPAC: "And there were about 30 young women who came up to me, basically as a group, and wanted to get the campaign buttons, they wanted to get the bumper stickers"

Maybe they wanted them as memorabilia. I once thought of getting a Kuchinich sticker or a Braun button, but I would have never voted for those clowns.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Ranking the Presidents

In honor of the holiday which keeps me at home instead of in class this Monday I thought I would rank the presidents.


1. Lincoln: kept the border states from leaving, won the bloodiest American war, freed the slaves, had a crazy wife, and still managed to lead in tough times.
2. FDR: lead us out of the Great Depression, won WWII (at least with against the Nazis), created Social Security and many other New Deal programs.
3. Madison: saved the US from destruction at the hands of the British, Dolly risked her life to save Washington's portrait, created national pride and indirectly the national anthem.
4. Teddy Roosevelt: took on big monolopolies and other robber barrons, fought in the Spanish-American war. Downside: he named Taft his VP and ran as a "BullMoose" in 1912, ensuring Wilson's victory.
5. Kennedy (vis vis Johnson): his death and vision laid the foundation for most of what Johnson actually accomplished including the Apollo mission and Civil Rights.


1. George W. Bush: plunged us from surplus into deficit, reversed safety measures and other sound policy to reward donors, ignored Al-Qaeda until it was too late, bungled the war on Terror, started an optional war and bungled that too, allowed a gay prostitute into the white house to ask slanted questions, organized a propagana effort that would make Kim Il-Sung blush. Plus: Signed McCain-Finegold, but then again he never vetoed a single bill.
2. Nixon: showed what the framers were worried about with tyranny and blind lust for power, started illegal wars in Laos and South America. Plus: signed bills keeping cigarette ads off TV.
3. Grant: twiddled his thumbs while the temporary progress in civil rights for blacks was underminded, a setback that would last a century. He also was ignorant of scandals going on all around him. plus: signed feckless anti-lynching bill
4. Andrew Jackson: personal slaughtered and promoted the genocide of hundreds of thousands of Native Americans in the biggest corrupt land grab of American history, destroyed the bank of US and set back commerce for decades.
5. Coolige/Hoover: sat around while the impeding/imploding doom of the Great Depression came.

HONERABLE MENTIONS (good and bad):

Washington: first president, walked away from life tenure to create the office. But was ineffectual to the growing partisan divide in his own cabinet and the nascent country.

Reagan: Conservatives love him, but do they know he raised taxes, unleashed homeless people upon our streets in the form of the mentally ill, was good pals with Saddam Hussien and Augusto Pinochet (at least his allies in Honduras), picked easy victories against weak dictators, funded and armed the Proto-Tailban in Afgahnistan, balloned the deficit, and was senile towards the end?

Clinton: Is the most talented and brilliant politican of our time and arguably the best American in these fields of all time. But couldn't make a decision promptly, couldn't control his desires, and tried too hard to please everyone-- leading to the 1994 debacle which cost the Democrats the house for at least a dozen years. On the other hand, he figured out foriegn policy by 1996 and created the environment for the longest lasting boom in American history.

Jefferson: bought 2/3s of this country from cash strapped France at a great price, promoted exploration and learning, pardoned those emprisioned by the Alien and Sedition Act. Minuses: the author of the Decoration of Independece fathered mullato children via his slave, never freed them like Washington did, and was deeply in debt from his Clintonian overexuberance.

Wilson: his 14 points presaged World War II. His arguments to the French and British, though they feel on deaf ears, where dead on. He stupidly hung his hat on the League of Nations which had no teeth and had a stroke towards the end.