TAPPER: And that’s not comparable to what Limbaugh said about Sandra Fluke?
MAHER: To compare that to Rush is ridiculous – he went after a
civilian about very specific behavior, that was a lie, speaking for a
party that has systematically gone after women’s rights all year, on
the public airwaves. I used a rude word about a public figure who
gives as good as she gets, who’s called people “terrorist” and
“unAmerican.” Sarah Barracuda. The First Amendment was specifically
designed for citizens to insult politicians. Libel laws were written
to protect law students speaking out on political issues from getting
called whores by Oxycontin addicts.
TAPPER: What about all the clips of you saying rather “edgy” things –
offensive to many people, no doubt – from your show on HBO, “Real
MAHER: Of course if you take out of context over 10 years snippets
inside comedy bits you can make anyone look bad – and sometimes, I
have been! Not perfect, but not misogyny. In general, this is an
obvious right wing attempt to dredge up some old shit about me to
deflect from their self-inflicted problems. They are the kings of
And through it all, I have defended Rush’s right to stay on the air!
Not what he said, that was disgusting – but the right to not disappear
because people who don’t even listen to you don’t like what you said.
That really bothers me. I never hear Rush Limbaugh unless a guy in the
next truck at a stop light has it on; it would be arrogant for me to
say “he has to disappear” and deprive the people who do listen to him
of what they like. We all have different tastes and different
opinions, that’s America.
Why Ron Paul May Cut a Deal With Mitt Romney – For Ron Paul, victory is finally in sight. No, not a swearing-in ceremony next January 20, or even a single statewide win. Halfway through the primary season, Paul has won only a preference poll in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and he is running dead last in delegates among the four GOP candidates for President. He has spent a lot, if not always wisely: the $31.55 he has dropped per vote (more than even Mitt Romney) is a sum that might shock even a Democrat.
But winning the presidency was never Paul’s foremost goal, and as he nears the end of his last presidential crusade, he has one more chance to promote his ideas. The Republican race is a muddled mess. Even after his southern losses, only Romney has a real shot at amassing the 1,144 delegates required to wrap up the nomination, and he would then face the task of unifying the GOP’s warring factions. Which is why Paul’s campaign has sent discreet signals to Camp Romney that the keys to Paul’s shop can be had for the right price.
They include Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, media mogul Fred Eychaner, Pfizer executive Sally Susman, Stoneyfield Farms president and CEO Gary Hirschberg, and Microsoft executives Suzi Levine and John Frank. Several have each raised more than half a million dollars for 2012, according to estimates provided by Obama’s campaign.
His writings showed clearly that the latter was the path he chose. His previous writings had been those of a sensible man saying sensible things about civil rights issues that he understood from his years of experience as an attorney. But now he wrote all sorts of incoherent speculations and pronouncements, the main drift of which was that white people were the cause of black people’s problems.
Bell even said that he took it as his mission to say things to annoy white people. Perhaps he thought that was better than being insignificant in his academic setting. But it was in fact far worse, because the real damage was to impressionable young blacks who took him seriously, including one who went on to become President of the United States.
The Tea Party has drowned – The Tea Party is over. In the way of parties that end, there are still people around. Those who remain search for a return of the old energy and make unconvincing demonstrations of people having a good time. But the central focus, the excitement, the purpose of the thing is dissipating. That is because the bad stuff that its members and boosters put out — lies, slanders, paranoia, ignorance — is losing what grip it had over the minds of people with minds. What’s left, though, is something else, which will not go away: the identification of moral choices blurred and contemporary indifferences ignored.
GRAPH: The escalating cost of Obamacare – So I’ve created the updated graph below. Notice how low the numbers are in the 2010 to 2013 time period and how they quickly soar. All the spending to the right of the black line wasn’t reflected in the CBO’s estimate for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) at the time of passage.
The Bain Capital Bonfire – About the best that can be said about the Republican attacks on Mitt Romney’s record at Bain Capital is that President Obama is going to do the same thing eventually, so GOP primary voters might as well know what’s coming. Yet that hardly absolves Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry and others for their crude and damaging caricatures of modern business and capitalism.
Bain’s business model is little more than “rich people figuring out clever legal ways to loot a company,” says Mr. Gingrich, whose previous insights into free enterprise include years of defending the taxpayer-fed business of corn ethanol.
A super PAC supporting the former House Speaker plans to spend $3.4 million in TV ads in South Carolina portraying Mr. Romney as Gordon Gekko without the social conscience. The financing for these ads will come from a billionaire who made his money in the casino business, which Mr. Gingrich apparently considers morally superior to investing in companies in the hope of making a profit.
Mr. Perry, who has no problem using taxpayer financing to back his political allies in Texas, chimes in that “I have no doubt that Mitt Romney was worried about pink slips, whether he was going to have enough of them to hand out. Because his company Bain Capital, with all the jobs that they killed, I’m sure he was worried he’d run out of pink slips.”
The study — by Steven J. Davis of the University of Chicago; John C. Haltiwanger of the University of Maryland; Josh Lerner of Harvard, and Ron S. Jarmin and Javier Miranda of the Census Bureau — looked at about 3,200 buyouts conducted between 1980 and 2005.
It found that companies bought by private equity firms let go a larger proportion of workers than similar firms, shrinking their work forces about 6 percent more over a five-year window. But companies bought by private equity firms also tend to open more new branches, offices and factories and hire more new staff members, partly offsetting the job losses.
Some economists also argue that private equity takeovers make good economic sense in the long term, even if they result in more layoffs in the short term, by making companies more efficient.
Gingrich’s Own Close Tie to Buyout Industry – Newt Gingrich has ramped up his attacks on Mitt Romney as a heartless leveraged buyout executive for his years at Bain Capital, asking reporters in Manchester on Monday, “Is capitalism really about the ability of a handful of rich people to manipulate the lives of thousands of other people and walk off with the money? Or is that, somehow, a little bit of a flawed system?”
But Mr. Gingrich was himself on an advisory board for a major investment firm that had a similar business model, Forstmann Little, a pioneering private equity firm co-founded in 1978 by Theodore J. Forstmann that was, along with Mr. Romney’s Bain Capital and Henry R. Kravis’s Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts, among the leading private equity firms during the 1980s and 1990s.
Forstmann Little earned billions of dollars in profits from its investments in companies including General Instrument and Gulfstream Aerospace. But the firm shut down most of its operations a decade ago after suffering losses from ill-timed bets on high-flying telecommunications companies at the height of that industry’s bubble.
Mr. Gingrich’s involvement with the firm could complicate his attacks on Mr. Romney.
Still, to be fair, Mr. Forstman bristled at some of the more aggressive tactics of his rivals, and once described them as “barbarians at the gate.” That phrase was used as the title of a bestselling book that detailed Mr. Forstmann’s buyout battle with Mr. Kravis for RJR Nabisco, a contest K.K.R. eventually won.
Unemployment Rate Drop Is for Real – now 8.5% – The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 8.5% in December, while a broader measure dropped even further to 15.2% from 15.6% the prior month, both at their lowest levels since February 2009.
While the unemployment rate has been falling in part due to people leaving the labor force, a large portion of this month’s number appears to come from people finding jobs.
The unemployment rate is calculated based on people who are without jobs, who are available to work and who have actively sought work in the prior four weeks. The “actively looking for work” definition is fairly broad, including people who contacted an employer, employment agency, job center or friends; sent out resumes or filled out applications; or answered or placed ads, among other things. The rate is calculated by dividing that number by the total number of people in the labor force.
In December, the household survey showed the number of people employed rose by 176,000, as the population increased by 143,000 over the month. So even though the labor force — the number of people working or looking for work — fell by 50,000, job growth is outpacing the increase in the population.
Brown Seeks 7% California Spending Boost – Governor Jerry Brown proposed $92.6 billion in spending for the year starting in July, an increase of about 7 percent, which will count on voters approving $7 billion of higher taxes in November.
The spending plan foresees a deficit of $9.2 billion through the next 18 months. Almost half of that is in the current fiscal year, he said. He called for $4.2 billion in cuts, mostly to welfare and programs for the poor. If the tax increase isn’t passed, Brown’s plan would cut another $4.8 billion in support for public schools and community colleges.
California is Standard & Poor’s lowest-rated state, at A-, six levels below AAA. Moody’s Investment Service grades it A1, four steps below the top rating, tied with Illinois (STOIL1) for the worst credit rating among states.
This quiet reality, which is spreading nationwide, is claiming a wide range of casualties, including family physicians, cardiologists and oncologists.
Industry watchers say the trend is worrisome. Half of all doctors in the nation operate a private practice. So if a cash crunch forces the death of an independent practice, it robs a community of a vital health care resource.
“A lot of independent practices are starting to see serious financial issues,” said Marc Lion, CEO of Lion & Company CPAs, LLC, which advises independent doctor practices about their finances.
Doctors list shrinking insurance reimbursements, changing regulations, rising business and drug costs among the factors preventing them from keeping their practices afloat. But some experts counter that doctors’ lack of business acumen is also to blame.
As bans on smoking sweep the USA, an increasing number of employers — primarily hospitals — are also imposing bans on smokers. They won’t hire applicants whose urine tests positive for nicotine use, whether cigarettes, smokeless tobacco or even patches.
Such tobacco-free hiring policies, designed to promote health and reduce insurance premiums, took effect this month at the Baylor Health Care System in Texas and will apply at the Hollywood Casino in Toledo, Ohio, when it opens this year.
New Pentagon strategy stresses Asia, cyber, drones – President Barack Obama unveiled a defense strategy on Thursday that would expand the U.S. military presence in Asia but shrink the overall size of the force as the Pentagon seeks to reduce spending by nearly half a trillion dollars after a decade of war.
The strategy, if carried out, would significantly reshape the world’s largest military from the one that executed President George W. Bush’s “war on terrorism” in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Cyberwarfare and unmanned drones would continue to grow in priority, as would countering attempts by China and Iran to block U.S. power projection capabilities in areas like the South China Sea and the Strait of Hormuz.
But the size of the U.S. Army and Marines Corps would shrink. So too might the U.S. nuclear arsenal and the U.S. military footprint in Europe.
Obama: the US can no longer fight the world’s battles – The mighty American military machine that has for so long secured the country’s status as the world’s only superpower will have to be drastically reduced, Barack Obama warned yesterday as he set out a radical but more modest new set of priorities for the Pentagon over the next decade.
After the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that defined the first decade of the 21st century, Mr Obama’s blueprint for the military’s future acknowledged that America will no longer have the resources to conduct two such major operations simultaneously.
Instead, the US military will lose up to half a million troops and will focus on countering terrorism and meeting the new challenges of an emergent Asia dominated by China. America, the President said, was “turning the page on a decade of war” and now faced “a moment of transition”. The country’s armed forces would in future be leaner but, Mr Obama pointedly warned both friends and foes, sufficient to preserve US military superiority over any rival – “agile, flexible and ready for the full range of contingencies and threats”.
Mitt Romney’s the nominee: The Republican primary race is over. – Is there anyone not annoyed by Mitt Romney’s narrow win in the Iowa caucus? Conservatives are disappointed because they recognize that the former Massachusetts governor, who used to be pro-choice and was for Obamacare before it was called that, is only pretending to be one of them. Seventy-five percent of Iowa’s Republican voters wanted someone further to the right. But because their votes were divided among too many weak and weird candidates, the only moderate running in their state came out on top.
Liberals are bummed because Romney is the strongest potential challenger to President Obama. This shows up clearly in head-to-head polls, which put Romney tied with or slightly ahead of Obama, while other Republican contenders trail by 10 points or more. It was hard for Obama campaign officials to suppress their glee last month when Newt Gingrich, the only even remotely plausible alternative to Romney, briefly ran at the head of the pack. But even they knew this was a momentary aberration. Short of Republicans committing collective suicide by picking someone else, Democrats would like to see Romney win the nomination after a protracted, costly struggle that would deplete his financial resources, sully his image, and drag him further to the right. Today, that scenario looks less likely.
Richard Cordray & the Use and Abuse of Executive Power – Some think me a zealous advocate of executive power, and often I am when it comes to national security issues. But I think President Obama has exceeded his powers by making a recess appointment for Richard Cordray (whom I respect and have no problems with as a nominee) to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Any private party can challenge this nomination by refusing to obey any regulation issued by the agency as the act of an unconstitutional officer. As a result, this may be the first time that Richard Epstein and I get to represent someone in court together!
Stroke Damage to Insular Cortex Boosts Smoking Cessation– Smokers who suffer a stroke that causes a lesion at the insular cortex are more than 5 times more likely to stop their nicotine habit than those whose stroke did not result in such a lesion, according to a new study.In addition, the researchers found that preparedness to change also influenced successful smoking cessation poststroke.
The study results were not surprising, given that research has already shown that biological and psychological factors help explain smoking cessation in patients with stroke, said the study’s lead author, Rosa Su?er Soler, PhD, from the Neurology Department, Josep Trueta Hospital, Girona, Spain.
Biologically, the insular cortex may play an important role in emotional decision-making, and in terms of psychology, smoking behavior may be explained by stages, processes, and levels of change, Dr. Su?er told Medscape Medical News. “Before you stop smoking, you must be aware that you have a problem and take the decision to stop smoking.”
The study was published online November 3 in Stroke.
Vaccination Exemptions Rise in California Amid Concerns– Increasing rates of unvaccinated young children with “personal belief exemptions” from vaccination requirements are becoming worrisome, according to research presented here at the American Public Health Association (APHA) 139th Annual Meeting.Recent concern about vaccine safety appears to be gaining strength, and state regulations requiring parents to vaccinate their children before they can attend public schools vary. In California, obtaining a personal belief exemption could not be easier — parents are only required to sign their name to a 2-sentence standard exemption statement on the back of the vaccination requirement form.
In evaluating data on the rates of exemptions from the California Department of Public Health, the state’s Department of Education and the US Census, researchers found that in 2010, the state had about 11,500 kindergartners with personal belief exemptions, representing a 25% increase over the previous 2 years.
The increasing rate indicates that, for kindergartners who have adhered to vaccination schedules, exposure to children with personal belief exemptions is about 2.3 per 100 children.
Because children with the exemptions tend to be found in clusters, the rate of children with exemptions who are exposed to other children who also have exemptions — a higher-risk combination — was 15.6 per 100 in 2010, said lead author Alison Buttenheim, PhD, MBA, from the University of Pennsylvania’s Robert Wood Johnson Health & Society Scholars Program in Philadelphia.
“The average kindergartner with a personal belief exemption attends a school where the exemption rate is 15 per 100, and we see that figure increasing all the time,” she reported.
Previous data from the fall of 2008 showed that 10% of the nearly half-million kindergartners in California attended schools where personal belief exemption rates exceeded 5%, and as many as 61% of kindergartners with 1 or more personal belief exemptions (n = 9196) attended schools where the personal exemption rate exceeded 5%. Among those, a third attended schools where the personal belief exemption rate exceeded 20%.
In a separate study conducted by the same team, the researchers investigated the concerns that parents have about vaccines by evaluating data on the specific vaccines received by 168 patients at a pediatric practice in Philadelphia where the practitioner, though pro-vaccine, is known to accommodate parents who seek alternative vaccination options.
Sales Taxes and the Internet– Online commerce is a big, big business, accounting for nearly one-tenth of retail sales in the United States. It is a lively and growing sector, a bright spot in our troubled economy — thus the gloomy shadow of the taxman inevitably falls upon it, in the form of a bill proposed by Republican senators Mike Enzi of Wyoming and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee. A similar bill was proposed by Democratic senator Dick Durbin of Illinois earlier in the year, and a separate effort is afoot to have the so-called supercommittee institute new Internet-tax measures as part of its deficit-reduction plan.But it’s not all about big business: The Enzi-Alexander bill would affect entrepreneurs with as little as $500,000 a year in sales.
Contrary to most accounts, there is no sales-tax loophole for online retailers. Customers who buy goods online are in most cases required to pay a “use tax” equivalent to the sales tax they would have paid in a conventional transaction. The problem, from the tax-consumers’ point of view, is that most taxpayers do not comply with the law. The state and local governments that depend upon sales-tax revenue protest that they are strapped for cash. That isn’t entirely true, either: Those jurisdictions are spending more money than ever, most of it on salaries and benefits for the legion of bureaucrats and commissars they maintain.
But in spite of their swollen payrolls and work forces, state and local governments apparently cannot be bothered to hire tax agents in sufficient numbers, thus the now universal practice of their requiring businesses to do their sales-tax collecting for them. The Internet-tax measures under consideration would not expand governments’ power to tax, but its power to conscript businesses into acting as tax collectors.
The original sin here is government’s delegating its tax-collecting duties to private businesses. If government wishes to levy a tax, let it do the work of collecting it. It is true that this would prove burdensome to cities and states. It is also burdensome to the conscripted businesses. The difference is that collecting taxes is government’s duty, not Amazon’s.
Stu’s Dangerous Dozen: Unsafe House Incumbents – Dan Lungren (R-Calif.). Another election means another problem for Lungren, who somehow wins despite his reluctance to raise money. He will be running in a 46 percent McCain district this time, compared with the 48 percent McCain district he ran in last time, but he also will draw the same opponent, Ami Bera. Bera, a doctor who raises money nationally from Indian-Americans, ran a competitive race in a terrible year for a Democrat, so he hopes the better environment will help him close the 7-point gap he had in 2010.
GOP Candidate Beats Obama in Swing States on Jobs, Deficit – Voters in 12 key swing states are substantially more likely to feel that a generic “Republican candidate” for president would do a better job than President Obama of handling the federal deficit and debt, and are slightly more likely to prefer the Republican on the issue of unemployment. Swing-state voters are split on the question of whether Obama or the Republican candidate would do a better job of handing healthcare as well as terrorism and international threats.
Colgate recalls mouthwash over contamination fears– Colgate-Palmolive is removing up to 50,000 bottles of Periogard mouthwash from store shelves in the U.K. due to possible bacterial contamination.The micro-organisms may be harmful to some people with weakened immune systems or some lung conditions, according to the company.
Up to 11 other countries, including some where the product has a different brand name, are also involved in the recall of 300-mL containers containing chlorhexidine.
“The presence of micro-organisms has been detected in some retained production samples of Periogard,” Colgate-Palmolive said in a statement. “Under certain circumstances, these micro-organisms may be harmful to individuals with compromised health. Accordingly, in order to ensure the safety of our consumers, in cooperation with the Medicine and Health Regulatory Authority, Colgate-Palmolive UK is recalling all Periogard.”
ADA updates guidelines for managing ONJ risk patients– A patient receiving antiresorptive therapy for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis has a low risk of developing osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ), and benefits of the medication outweigh the risk of ONJ, according to an advisory statement from the ADA.The statement, “Managing the Care of Patients Receiving Antiresorptive Therapy for Prevention and Treatment of Osteoporosis,” is based on a literature review by an advisory committee of the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs and updates ADA’s 2008 advisory statement (Journal of the American Dental Association, November 2011, Vol. 142:11, pp. 1243-1251).
ONJ associated with antiresorptive agents has mostly been referred to as bisphosphonate-associated ONJ, but nonbisphosphonate antiresorptive agents are now available that also could be associated with ONJ, the panel noted. That is why they refer to the condition as antiresorptive agent-induced ONJ (ARONJ).
A relatively new condition, bisphosphonate-associated ONJ, has received tremendous media attention because of a flurry of lawsuits against the makers of Fosamax and Zometa alleging that the medications led to ONJ.
These lawsuits have been a factor in raising patients’ and dentists’ awareness of the condition, according to Helen Ristic, PhD, director of scientific information for the ADA’s Division of Science and one of the panelists who contributed to the report.
In an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV, the Texas governor said he had made a poor choice of words during the Sept. 22 presidential debate, but he stood by his view that the decision in his state to extend tuition breaks was the right one.
“I was probably a bit over-passionate by using that word and it was inappropriate,” Perry admitted. “In Texas in 2001 we had 181 members of the legislature – only four voted against this piece of legislation – because it wasn’t about immigration it was about education.”
During the wide-ranging interview, Perry:
• Opposed the idea of a fence stretching the entire length of the Mexican border;
• Repeated his claim that social security is “a Ponzi scheme,” saying it’s so bad it “would make Bernie Madoff blush;”
• Attacked challenger Mitt Romney as “a flip-flopper;’
• Accused President Barack Obama of sending government agencies to “go to war” against business, and;
• Said most voters want their president to be “a person of faith.”
As you may recall, the 47-year-old attacked Sarah Palin’s oldest daughter last week, calling her mother “evil” and a “whore,” among other unbelievably offensive insults. You can watch the original battle unfold here:
The relationship may relate to exposure to herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) or varicella-zoster viruses (VZVs), they speculate.
Ya-Ning Chiu, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan, and colleagues, used data from a national database to compare the risk for stroke between a group of patients with a diagnostic code of BP and found an increase in risk for stroke in these patients vs controls.
Both HSV-1 and VZVs have been linked to risk for stroke, the study authors point out. These pathogens are thought to cause inflammation, promoting atherosclerosis and vasculopathy in the cerebral vasculature. Both viruses have also been linked to BP.
"Therefore, we speculated that the increased risk of stroke after BP may be due, at least in part, to the etiological link between viral reactivation and BP and the connection between viral infection and stroke," the study authors write.
The study was published online May 6 in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry.
"Gambling disorders cause significant impairment," first study author David Hodgins, PhD, psychology professor at University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, told Medscape Medical News. It's important to note that treatment for gambling disorders "works and is available in many jurisdictions. Many countries have gambling helplines that provide treatment options for individuals."
He also noted that because gambling problems are often accompanied by other problems and disorders, "numerous professionals, including physicians, mental health therapists, substance abuse counselors, and financial counselors, are well positioned to screen and refer. We also have validated, easy to use, screening questions."
The seminar is published online May 19 in The Lancet.
In the article, Dr. Hodgins and 2 coauthors review prevalence of gambling disorders, as well as causes and associated features, screening and diagnosis, and treatment approaches.
For most people, they point out, gambling is a merely an enjoyable social activity. It's only a "small group of people [who] become too seriously involved in terms of time invested and money wagered, and they continue to gamble despite substantial and negative personal, social, family, and financial effects," the study authors note.
Gambling disorders have garnered increased attention from clinicians and researchers during the past 3 decades as gambling opportunities have expanded. Internet gambling, for example, now provides around-the-clock home access to several types of gambling activities to an increasing number of people around the world.
The prevalence of gambling disorders varies widely across the globe. For example, rates of problem gambling range from 0.2% in Norway to 5.3% in Hong Kong. In the United States, rates of pathological gambling range from 0.4% to 1.1% of adults, with an additional 1% to 2% identified as problem gamblers.
Increasing evidence implicates multiple neurotransmitter systems, including dopaminergic, serotonergic, and noradrenergic, in the pathophysiology of gambling disorders. Genetic factors are also thought to play a part, with evidence from twin studies suggesting some level of shared risk between identical twins. Environmental factors are also clearly involved, including accessibility to gambling and growing up with a parent with a gambling a gambling addiction.
Read it all then shuffle up and deal….
Heavy Smoking Accompanies Postpartum Depression – Cigarette smoking should be a tip-off for the possibility of postpartum depression, according to a survey from the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System. Results of a study suggesting this were presented here at American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists 59th Annual Clinical Meeting.
The large survey showed that nearly 1 of every 3 mothers who reported smoking more than 10 cigarettes per day also had symptoms of clinical depression. Depression was more likely among heavier smokers who were younger, who were non-Hispanic black, and who had low levels of education.
"Our study suggests that screening and treatment of depression should be considered in all smoking-cessation programs that target new mothers," lead author Diana Cheng, MD, from the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in Baltimore, told meeting attendees. The findings also suggest that healthcare workers should be alert to the possibility of postpartum depression in new mothers who are heavy smokers, and prescribe treatment accordingly, she added.
The study was based on a survey of a random sample of 8074 new mothers in Maryland who delivered babies between 2004 and 2008. Participants completed the survey between 2 and 9 months after delivery.
"Eating disorders are generally first picked up in primary care physicians' offices, but there is very little training in recognition, detection, diagnosis, and treatment of eating disorders in either medical school or residency," Mark Warren, MD, cochair of the task force that wrote the guidelines, noted in an interview with Medscape Medical News.
Eating Disorders: Critical Points for Early Recognition and Medical Risk Management in the Care of Individuals with Eating Disorders can be downloaded from the academy's Web site. There is also a brochure that can be downloaded for printing and distribution.
Designed to be user-friendly, the document provides a list of signs and symptoms and strategies to help general practitioners make an early diagnosis, medically stabilize patients, and initiate evidence-based care for patients with eating disorders.
Sections include what the physical examination should include; what laboratory and imaging studies to obtain; risk factors and prevention strategies for the refeeding syndrome, a potentially fatal shift of fluid and electrolytes that can occur when refeeding (orally, enterally, or parenterally) a malnourished patient; timely interventions; goals of treatment; and ongoing management.
Eating disorders can have life-threatening physical and psychological consequences, the task force notes, and they affect not only girls and women but also boys and men, people from all ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds, and people with a variety of body shapes, weights, and sizes.
"It is important to remember that eating disorders do not only affect females at low weight," the authors note, and that weight is not the only clinical marker of an eating disorder; people who are at normal weight can have an eating disorder.
Social Media Proves a Powerful Measure of Voter Sentiment and Accurate Predictor of California Gubernatorial Race – My company, Activate Direct, teamed up with Tulchin Research and PWSMC Social Media consulting, to release a detailed study of social media content related to the 2010 California governor's race between candidates Meg Whitman and Jerry Brown. The study demonstrates how campaigns can use techniques of "social listening" as both a real-time poll and an ongoing focus group, augmenting traditional public opinion research methods and identifying potential crises early.
The analysis unlocked several key findings:
Social and polling data were closely correlated.
The ratio of positive to negative social sentiment was very much in line with the ratio of favorable to unfavorable ratings shown by traditional polling.
Social chatter was driven by key campaign events.
By analyzing the daily volume of social media chatter over the campaign timeline, it is clearly evident that peaks in social conversation volume coincided with major campaign events. There were three major peaks the team observed:
Brown's announcement that he would run for Governor
The primary election
The largest peak of all, the Nannygate scandal
The impact of Nannygate was significant. While Brown also had a negative spike during this time because of a related scandal ("Whoregate"), the overall gap between his positives and negatives is not nearly as far apart as Whitman's during this time, nor did Brown's negatives spike nearly to the same degree as Whitman's did over the same period.
Read it all
Will campaigns now hire news curator and social media consultants?
Arsenic in Drinking Water Ups Risk of Heart Disease – Exposure to even moderate amounts of arsenic in drinking water increases the risk of heart disease, new research from Bangladesh shows, and this risk is further exacerbated in anyone who has ever smoked .
This is one of the first studies to quantify the risks of moderate exposure to arsenic in terms of cardiovascular disease and also the first time that a synergistic effect of smoking and arsenic exposure on CVD has been demonstrated, lead author of the new prospective cohort study, Dr Yu Chen (New York University School of Medicine, NY), told heartwire.
She explained that arsenic is a natural element that can enter drinking water supplies in areas where water is primarily sourced from groundwater, and previous studies have shown that high levels of arsenic (>500 µg/L) are associated with an increased risk of many cardiovascular diseases, including hypertension and ischemic heart disease, as well as cancer. "But it is not well established whether there is an association between low (<100 µg/L) or moderate levels (<300 µg/L) of arsenic exposure and cardiovascular mortality and subtypes of mortality, so we aimed to investigate this, and we also wanted to see whether the risks due to arsenic exposure were higher among smokers than nonsmokers," she commented. Chen and colleagues report their findings online May 5, 2011 in BMJ
The results, which were highlighted at a press briefing held in advance of the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), confirmed that for women with a negative HPV test and normal cytology, a 3-year follow-up appears to be safe and appropriate.
Women who tested negative for HPV had a 5-year cancer risk that was similar to those who tested negative for HPV and had normal cytology (3.8 vs 3.2 per 100,000 women per year; P = .8). This was half the cancer risk of women who had a negative result on Pap testing only (3.8 vs 7.5 per 100,000 women per year; P = .3).
Concurrent HPV testing and cervical cytology (cotesting) is an approved and promising alternative to cytology alone in women 30 years and older. Screening guidelines from organizations such as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Cancer Society have endorsed the use of cotesting in this age group as a safe alternative to Pap testing alone.
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