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Faryn Balyncd

Faryn Balyncd's Journal
Faryn Balyncd's Journal
August 15, 2016

Bernie's call to action: "Stop the TPP now."

In today's email:

From: "Robert Cruickshank, Democracy for America"
Subject: STOP THE TPP: Bernie's call to action

Bernie Sanders just issued a call to action. This morning he sent out a tweet pointing to an article that included DFA's work against the TPP -- and urged us to get involved:

Bernie's right. As Robert Reich explains in the email below, fighting back against the TPP is one of the most important tasks we face in the coming weeks and months. The White House is determined to pass this job-killing, corporate-friendly deal after the election is over. We have to stop them.

Will you take up Bernie's call and do all you can to stop the TPP? Start by joining DFA, CREDO, and Robert Reich to sign the petiton: urge Hillary Clinton to speak out against a "lame duck" session vote on the TPP.

Thank you for helping stop the TPP.

- Robert

Robert Cruickshank, Senior Campaign Manager
Democracy for America

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Robert Reich
Date: Fri, Aug 12, 2016 at 8:12 AM
Subject: What Hillary Clinton said about the TPP

At a major economic speech in Michigan on Thursday, Hillary Clinton made a strong case against the Trans-Pacific Partnership. She said "I oppose it now, I'll oppose it after the election, and I'll oppose it as President."

But, just this week, President Barack Obama said he plans to continue pushing for passage of the TPP in Congress despite increasing pressure from across the political spectrum to let this job-killing trade agreement die. According to Washington Trade Daily, the White House is planning to convince lawmakers to vote for the TPP after the "dust settles" on November's election -- and before the next president takes office.

Let's be clear: Hillary Clinton stands with Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren in opposition to the TPP. And so do most Democrats, including key leaders in Congress.

Now, I'm joining with my friends at Democracy for America and CREDO in asking Sec. Clinton to demonstrate her leadership and stop this disastrous trade deal by specifically speaking out against holding a vote in the "lame duck" session of Congress, after the election on November 8.

Please join with me in signing our petition: Ask Hillary Clinton to publicly urge the White House to stop pushing for a "lame-duck" vote on the TPP after the November election.

Big corporations and Wall Street are enthusiastic about the TPP, a deal that includes countries responsible for 40 percent of the global economy. The TPP would give giant corporations even more patent protection overseas.

And -- through the dangerous-to-democracy "Investor-State Dispute Settlement" process in the TPP -- the deal would allow corporations to challenge any nation's health, safety and environmental laws that stand in the way of their profits, including our own.

It's unlikely that Congress can pass the TPP before the November election. After the election, but before the newly elected members are sworn in, Congress meets for the so-called "lame duck" session. Members of Congress who have retired or been defeated still get one last chance to vote on legislation -- and that could include the TPP.

Hillary Clinton has spoken out strongly against the TPP. Now she has a chance to take a bold step forward and help us prevent a vote on the TPP. The White House would have a hard time saying no to her if she made such a public request. Will you join me, DFA, and CREDO and urge her to act?

Sign our petition and ask Hillary Clinton: Publicly urge the White House to not hold a vote on the TPP -- before or after the November election.

Thank you for helping stop this global corporate power grab.

Robert Reich
Former Secretary of Labor

August 15, 2016

DFA: Ask the White House to oppose a lame-duck TPP vote

Democracy For America PETITION to Hillary Clinton: "Ask the White House to oppose a lame-duck vote in Congress on the TPP"

Stopping the Trans-Pacific Partnership -- a deal negotiated in secret that gives corporations unprecedented power -- is one of the most important tasks we face in 2016.

But despite opposition from leading Democrats and progressives, the White House is pressing ahead. They are reportedly planning to hold a vote on the TPP in the "lame duck" session after the November election, when Congress doesn't have to face the consequences of their actions.

As the Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton is in a unique position to help us stop the TPP. Her campaign chair, John Podesta, said "Hillary opposes TPP BEFORE and AFTER the election." Now we need her to act -- and help stop Congress from passing the destructive, job-killing TPP.

Join Robert Reich, DFA, and CREDO by signing our petition asking Hillary Clinton to publicly urge the White House to not hold a vote on the TPP -- before or after the November election.


December 18, 2015

30% of Republicans want to bomb fictional Dizney homeland of Aladdin

30% of Republicans want to bomb fictional home of Aladdin

Muslim empires stretched across three continents for hundreds of years, but there’s one Arabian character who stands out to all Americans. And 41 percent of Donald Trump’s supporters want to bomb him to kingdom come.

A recent survey from Public Policy Polling asked respondents their opinion on bombing Agrabah. Among Trump supporters, 41 percent were in favor of bombing, while 51 percent were not sure and only 9 percent opposed.

The problem? Agrabah is the fictional homeland of the beloved Disney character Aladdin.

Trump supporters weren’t the only ones to take a strong stand against Disney’s Arabian hero. More than 30 percent of Rick Santorum, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Chris Christie and Jeb Bush supporters also backed the attack. Overall, 30 percent of respondents were in favor of the magic carpet bombing. . . Lindsey Graham was the only candidate for whom a majority of supporters didn’t want to send an explosive message to the beloved character. The survey did not ask if people knew they were in fact attacking a fictional city.


December 18, 2015

DNC and DWS: All telephones shut down early

Telephone numbers at DNC were put on recorder PRIOR TO 5 PM Eastern to recorder that said their telephones were open until 5 PM Eastern.

DWS's Telephones are all on recorders that say to leave a message and they will call bvack, then say that their voice mail boxes are all full.

Representing the people 24/7.

November 23, 2015

Mayor Mike Rawlings: Restoring Sanity!

Mayor Rawlings tells MSNBC he’s more afraid of white men shooting people than Syrian refugees

In case you slept in Saturday morning and missed Mayor Mike Rawlings discussing Syrian refugees live on MSNBC, here you go.

Rawlings previously told The Dallas Morning News that he would welcome Syrian refugees to the city. He said becoming xenophobic about refugees would “fall into the trap” of what ISIS is seeking.

The mayor reiterated that point to MSNBC and said “ISIS is no more Islamic than Nazi senior staff was Christian.” He added that he’s more concerned about mass shootings than risk of violence from refugees.

“I am more fearful of large gatherings of white men that come into schools, theaters and shoot people up, but we don’t isolate young white men on this issue,” Rawlings said. . . . .


I think he has a future!

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings

August 18, 2015

FDA (FINALLY) warns makers of medical scopes in wake of deadly ‘superbug’ outbreaks:

Nice to know that the FDA has issued a "warning letter", 6 months after a fatal carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteria ("superbug&quot outbreak via duodenoscopes was reported at UCLA's Ronald Reagan Medical Center (which occurred despite knowledge of the problem since at least 2009).

FDA warns makers of medical scopes in wake of deadly ‘superbug’ outbreaks
by Brady Dennis August 17

Investigators believe carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) bacteria acquired from specialized medical devices known as duodenoscopes have infected hundreds of patients and have been linked to numerous deaths. . . .The Food and Drug Administration has sent warning letters to manufacturers of a specialized medical scope that has been associated with outbreaks of a deadly “superbug” virus, saying the companies failed to adequately report problems with the devices and, in some instances, failed to ensure that they could be cleaned properly between uses. . . The warnings come after the devices, known as duodenoscopes, have been linked in recent years to outbreaks of tough-to-fight bacterial infections involving carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, or CRE.

A recent outbreak involving contaminated scopes at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles left at least two people dead, and officials said scores of other patients potentially were exposed to the dangerous bacteria. At Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, also in Los Angeles, officials this year said four patients had been infected by a superbug after undergoing a duodenoscope procedure. A Connecticut hospital said it had contacted nearly 300 patients who might have been exposed to a dangerous type of drug-resistant E. coli after undergoing duodenoscope procedures.

Such incidents prompted the FDA in February to alert doctors and hospitals that duodenoscopes can be difficult to sanitize between uses and “may facilitate the spread of deadly bacteria.” . . . Since 2012, other outbreaks have occurred at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital near Chicago, where 44 people were infected, and at the Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, where at least 32 patients became ill and 11 died. . . .


The sad reality is that since these fiberoptic instruments cannot be heat sterilized without destroying the fiberoptics, that consequently whether whether or not a patient gets scoped by an instrument contaminated with resistant bacteria (or, for that matter, with hepatitis C, which has been documented to have been spread via colonoscopes) depends on:
(1) how effective the mechanical cleansing and chemical/gas cleansing protocol is,
(2) how rigorously each facility executes the cleansing protocol between procedures, and
(3) how many $40,000 scopes each facility is willing to purchase.

Culturing protocols devised for duodenoscopes to prevent CRE
An ideal protocol, however, may call for more of the expensive scopes

May 1, 2015

Responding to a series of outbreaks of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) linked to duodenoscopes, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed an interim protocol for culturing the devices before use to create a greater margin of safety for patients.

But as others have noted, the approach is not foolproof and could be costly if facilities determine that they must purchase more scopes to adopt the protocol. Duodenoscopes are priced in the $40,000 range, according to researchers who came up with a similar protocol at the ECRI Institute in Plymouth Meeting, PA. The CDC protocol provides a plan to determine how scopes may be sampled and how to test the samples in a lab. (To access the protocol, go to http://1.usa.gov/1MwdevG.)

“Like other proposed solutions to the problem of duodenoscope-related CRE infections, we recognize that there are both pros and cons associated with using screening cultures,” Michael Bell, MD, deputy director of the CDC’s Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, said in a blog post. “There can be concerns about cost, as using this method will mean that the duodenoscopes will not be available for use while waiting for the results of the cultures. This could mean that a facility would need to buy additional scopes in order to be sure they have the equipment available when needed. Additionally, the failure to grow bacteria from the areas sampled may not guarantee that there are no bacteria present anywhere on the scope.”


Peculiar that in this day and age, we find that decades after the introduction of wonderful high tech diagnostic and therapeutic gadgets, that our faith that these instruments are in fact sterile seems to have possibly been misplaced.

Yet we now have an FDA sending warning letters after 6 years of knowledge of the problem.

(It is a bit disturbing that, some non-bacterial infections which have been documented to have been spread via endoscopes, in particular hepatitis C virus, generally does not manifest itself until years after exposure, making the source of infection less likely to ever be recognized.)

And how might we encourage meticulous compliance with, & execution of, mechanical/chemical cleansing protocols that, having a small margin of error, have been repeatedly shown to be subject to human failure?

How about publicly posting the results of bacterial cultures of each facility's endoscopes?

How about shining a little sunlight on the endoscopic sterilization practices which effect not only the bottom line of healthcare facilities we use, but whether or not our interventions will result in benefit or harm?

August 7, 2015

American Conservative: Obama’s Speech on the Nuclear Deal

Obama’s Speech on the Nuclear Deal
By Daniel Larison

Obama delivered a very cogent and combative case for the nuclear deal with Iran earlier today at American University. He offered a clear and persuasive explanation of the deal’s merits and dismantled various criticisms of the deal quite effectively. This was obviously not aimed at trying to win over members of the other party, since it was already clear that Republicans in Congress are virtually unanimous in their opposition and aren’t going to change their position for anything. His responses to hawkish criticisms of the deal were pointed and sometimes mocking, which is understandable given how shoddy the arguments against the deal typically are. The speech seems to have been aimed primarily at fence-sitting Democrats in Congress and members of the public that don’t yet have a definite view of the deal. It was another reminder that Obama is particularly interested in non-proliferation and arms control issues and that he is willing to pursue them aggressively.

There were a few things from the speech that stood out. One was Obama’s emphasis on the fact that the U.S. is giving up nothing as part of this deal except the punitive measures imposed on Iran over the nuclear issue. He compared this deal with Cold War-era arms control treaties to make the point that the latter imposed limitations on the U.S. and were somewhat riskier than the current deal. The implicit argument here was that these arms control treaties were also the right thing to do, and the deal is even more obviously so. Another striking part of the speech was how uncompromising Obama was in his conviction that the deal is clearly the best available option: "I’ve had to make a lot of tough calls as president, but whether or not this deal is good for American security is not one of those calls, it’s not even close."

I would agree that it’s “not even close” to being a difficult decision, but I didn’t expect to hear that. Obama also countered hawkish alarmism about the “windfall” Iran will receive from sanctions relief by stating that Iran would be getting sanctions relief anyway in the absence of a deal or in the event that the deal was rejected, and he dismissed fears of Iran’s regional dominance by correctly pointing out the regime’s relative military weakness. He also repeatedly reminded the audience that Iran belongs to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and will always be barred from building a nuclear weapon. This is a very relevant detail that strangely goes unmentioned in much of the debate over the deal. . . .


August 4, 2015

Star-Tribune: Zimbabwe wants quick extradition of poacher

Zimbabwe wants Twin Cities lion hunter extradited with 'a bit of speed'

Meanwhile, dentist Walter Palmer said Monday that ‘‘every is just fine,” but he refused to disclose his whereabouts.
By Jennifer Bjorhus and Paul Walsh Star Tribune staff writers
August 3, 2015 — 8:52pm

A senior Zimbabwean diplomat said Monday that his government wants Eden Prairie big game hunter Walter Palmer extradited as quickly as possible to face allegations that he illegally shot a much-revered lion during a hunt last month.

Meanwhile, Palmer has not disclosed his whereabouts since authorities confirmed nearly a week ago that he was the American who killed Cecil the lion. Palmer, 55, did release a statement last Tuesday explaining that he thought the hunt was legal.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Friday that a representative for Palmer contacted the agency, which has begun its own investigation. The USFWS declined to give a progress report Monday on its efforts in the case. . . .


August 1, 2015

USA Today, MSN falsely reporting US has no extradiction treaty with Zimbabwe.

Here's MSN:

"...Currently, the U.S. does not have an extradition treaty with the African nation, but if the Wildlife service finds evidence of wrongdoing, it will pass its findings to the Department of Justice and try him in the USA."


(which appears to be from USA Today):

"...Currently, the U.S. does not have an extradition treaty with the African nation. However, if the wildlife service finds evidence of wrongdoing, it will pass its findings to the Department of Justice, which means Palmer could be tried in the U.S."


Reuters, the New York Times, the AP, and others have reported that we DO have an extradition treaty with Zimbabwe.

And Wikipedia reports the existence of a USA/Zimbabwe Extradition treaty, and links to this treaty negotiated in 1997, effective April 26, 2000, and a search of Congress.gov shows the treaty ratified by the Senate by a vote of 105-33:

Formal Title

Extradition Treaty between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe, signed at Harare on July 25, 1997.

Date Received from President
01/28/1998 — 105th Congress (1997-1998) Text of Treaty Document available as:

Countries / Parties

Committee Reports
Ex. Rept. 105-23

Latest Senate Action
10/21/1998 — 105th Congress (1997-1998)
Resolution of advice and consent to ratification agreed to in Senate by Division vote.

Treaty Topic
Extradition and Criminal Assistance

Actions (6) Text - Resolution of Ratification Text - Treaty Document Amendments (0) More Info

Actions: Senate Consideration of Treaty Document 105-33
Sort by Date

Senate Actions
10/21/1998 Resolution of advice and consent to ratification agreed to in Senate by Division vote.
10/21/1998 Treaty moved through its parliamentary stages up to and including presentation of the resolution of advice and consent to ratification.
10/21/1998 Considered by Senate.
10/14/1998 Reported by Mr. Helms, Committee on Foreign Relations, with printed report - Ex.Rept. 105-23. With one understanding, one declaration and one proviso, (except two Protocols with one declaration and one proviso). Placed on the Executive Calendar.
09/15/1998 Committee on Foreign Relations. Hearings held. Hearings printed: S.Hrg. 105-730.
01/28/1998 Received in the Senate and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations by unanimous consent.


So let's get on with it!

July 20, 2015

Bernie packs Hofheiz Pavillion despite virtual media blackout. Meanwhile . . .

In the run-up to today's turn-out at Hofheiz Pavillion (which had to be moved from the smaller 1500 seat Cullen Hall), a Google search of www.chron.com for "Bernie Sanders" "Houston" reveals no mention by Houston's "newspaper" of any scheduled Sanders appearance. (3 days earlier, the Chronicle ran an article titled "Socialist Sanders on Low End of Earners Among Candidates", which made no mention of any Texas or Houston appearance.

In contrast, 2 days before Rand Paul's campaign rally, the Chronicle ran "Rand Paul Returns to Texas for Rally", and followed this up with a second puff piece on the morning of Paul's "Stand With Rand" rally, complete with a reminder that "Paul will address 'the importance of protecting the entire Bill of Rights, and being boldly for conservative ideals that limit the power of the Washington Machine.' The first-term senator from Kentucky, a Texas native , will also be fundraising while in Houston. Paul's rally begins at 2:45 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency, downtown."

So. . . what kind of success did Houston's (former) "newspaper" achieve in drumming up attendance for "Stand with Rand"? . . . . . . . Well, it seems for some reason the photos are making themselves a little scarce! (Guess filling the Hyatt ballroom was too much to ask.)

Score: one for the American people,
. . . zip for the corporate "media"

Go, Bernie!

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