Wednesday, December 11, 2013

I have a concern.

...In Fort Lee, New Jersey, (click here) there are three lanes onto the George Washington Bridge, and in mid-September, Wildstein, a close Christie ally, closed two of them, causing several days of worse-than-usual gridlock. Local Democrats raised a question that seemed outrageous: did Christie’s ally cause the traffic jam on purpose to punish Fort Lee’s Democratic mayor, who balked at endorsing the governor’s re-election?...

I realize the politics is important for many reasons including the fact citizen lives were disrupted and that is more than a worry. Such mischief reminds he of Al Capone. I don't know exactly why, but, I guess it really feels like people are trapped in someone else's business they don't have control over, except, to get in the line of fire of opposing parties.

But, the politics isn't my focus. This traffic jam went on for a week and still might be a problem, so there is another issue. It would be different if this was one day and it was a huge inconvenience and then passed and nothing occurred again.


With so much congestion in one area the air quality becomes a focus. If the state sends someone to test the air quality as it is now as compared to before that would begin to discern if there were any effects on citizens, especially children. But, if there is a conflict of interest, then the federal EPA has to look into it. 

Air Quality is one of the reasons why traffic has to move in areas of high population. Auto and trucks emit higher amounts of pollutants if they ideal in one spot for an extended period of time. Then there is the issue of soot from emissions that could cover houses and leave a dark coating. 

Traffic jams are a problem and aggravation for many reasons, but, when they exist for days on end, they become hazardous to human lungs at the very least.

I actually feel bad for the Governor. I would be very surprised if he was ever involved in such mischief. It seems uncharacteristic. A disappointment to say the least. But, the details are important and I sincerely hope this was a single person with disregard for the safety of citizens and their orderly lives.

Best of luck with solving these problems. They are sincerely problems now.

This is from Eric Cantor's Webpage.

The Kids First Research Act is named in memory of Gabriella Miller. (click here)

The GOP even used a soft target to make their assault on the NIH. The monies of taxpayers that are appropriated to the NIH is suppose to do the greatest good for the most people. Miss Miller even talks about Senator Reid. This is political. Many times children with special problems seek to set up independent fund raising organizations to seek cures for these problems. Examples begin with efforts like that of Jerry Lewis when he conducted telethons for Muscular Dystrophy. These special needs children have independent fund raising all the time.

Unfortunately, the GOP has created a political agenda surrounding Ms. Miller and her family. When federal funds are distributed to private entities there are no guarantees to what will be researched. So, while Ms. Miller has a bill named after her the fact remains this bill says nothing about setting up a fund for research for her ailments. The problems she exhibits may never receive funding at all.

This bill is egregious in it's political focus, incompetent, unethical and may even be illegal and never hold up in suits that will be filed in court should it ever become law. The research the GOP wants to be sympathetic for in this bill may never receive funding and only end in lawsuits that prohibit the bill. The country will suffer, the USA will then fall behind in advancing our society and jobs will be lost and may never return when time passes to prohibit these funds for being utilized in a matter hostile to the American public.

Eric Cantor, rather than using Ms. Miller as an icon, should have volunteered to help begin a fund for her and her family. Ms. Miller is a special interest and while her life is important the monies from NIH for child research would be side tracked and prevent life saving measures for many children.

...continued from previous entry...

This is what that bill plays with. Lots and lots of taxpayer money. Lots and lots.


Overall Appropriation in 2012




DISEASES $1,837,957,000



For carrying out section 301 and title IV of the Public Health Service Act with respect to allergy and infectious diseases, $4,915,970,000: Provided, That $300,000,000 may be made available to International Assistance Programs „ 'Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Malaria, and Tuberculosis," to remain available until expended.



For carrying out section 301 and title IV of the Public Health Service Act with respect to child health and human development, $1,352,189,000.


(Labor/HHS Appropriation) $700,537,000


(Interior Appropriation) Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, as amended, and section 126(g) of the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986, $81,085,000



SKIN DISEASES $547,891,000


DISORDERS $426,043,000










MEDICINE $131,002,000

For carrying out the activities of the John E. Fogarty International Center (described in subpart2 of part E of title IV of the Public Health Service Act), $71,328,000

These funds are investments to the future of our nation. They are well established and have proven track records. Their focus is the people of this nation and not a profit margin. Now, who is better to carry out necessary research for Gabriella Miller. A private entity without any basic research for the purpose of finding a cure, or a national research institute already prepared to do the same thing? 

This exercise of the US House is unnecessary and is only a plan to defund NIH and place it in the private sector. Genetic diseases need genetic research. What do they think they are doing?

42 USC § 290 - National Institutes of Health Management Fund; establishment; advancements; availability; final adjustments of advances (click here)
For the purpose of facilitating the economical and efficient conduct of operations in the National Institutes of Health which are financed by two or more appropriations where the costs of operation are not readily susceptible of distribution as charges to such appropriations, there is established the National Institutes of Health Management Fund. ...
The demand for efficient and economical research is already written into the law. There is no more efficiency the private sector can add especially on disease that strike a small population in the USA.
(a) Allocation of NIH Funds in Common Fund for Pediatric Research.--Paragraph (7) of section 402(b) of the Public Health Service
Act (42 U.S.C. 282(b)) is amended to read as follows:
``(7)(A) shall, through the Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives--
``(i) identify research that represents important areas of emerging scientific opportunities, rising public health challenges, or knowledge gaps that deserve special emphasis and would benefit from conducting or supporting additional research that involves collaboration between 2 or more national research institutes or national centers, or would otherwise benefit from strategic coordination and planning;

Emerging scientific opportunities are already identified. The GOP wants to defund election funds along with NIH funds to set up a "Common Fund" to hand out grants to unknown private entities. You've got to be joking. This will destroy the pediatric research at the NIH. In setting up such a fund in the private sector the GOP can continue to reek havoc with government shutdowns without complaints from parents in need of such research. This is another strategy for elections. 

I have stated before the GOP used the last government shutdown for research to carry out more defunding of the government. They have identified 'soft targets' that came up then and now they are seeking to provide ALTERNATIVES so they can say there are other options for the public when they shut down the NIH again.
This is the last paragraph of a very short written bill:
(c) Supplement, Not Supplant; Prohibition Against Transfer.--Funds appropriated under section 402A(a)(2) of the Public Health Service Act, as added by subsection (b)--
(1) shall be used to supplement, not supplant, the funds otherwise allocated by the National Institutes of Health for pediatric research; and
(2) notwithstanding any transfer authority in any appropriation Act, shall not be used for any purpose other than making grants as described in section 402(b)(7)(B)(ii) of the Public Health Service Act, as added by subsection (a).
In this section the bill sets up additional funding to the private sector and not just appropriating election funds money. The bill states the Director of NIH has to add the pediatric funds which is at the least $1,352,189,000 plus any other funding in other funds for children within NIH.
This is what the GOP has been doing since the last government shutdown. They have been scoping out monies that can be transferred from it's purpose to privatize 'soft targets' so when the Debt Ceiling has to be raised, they won't do it. They will allow default without hitting soft targets that suffered in the last shutdown. 
Plotting. Allowing unemployment and global concern for the USA's inability to grapple with the political divide in regard to PAYING THEIR BILLS. Plotting, so they can do more of the same without causing deaths of children when their treatments are defunded at the NIH.

...continued from previous entry.

Amends the Public Health Service Act to require the Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), through the Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives, to allocate funds appropriated under this Act to the national research institutes and national centers for making grants for pediatric research representing important areas of emerging scientific opportunities, rising public health challenges, or knowledge gaps that deserve special emphasis and would benefit from conducting or supporting additional research that involves collaboration between two or more national research institutes or national centers, or would otherwise benefit from strategic coordination and planning.

This paragraph is absolute proof the GOP is ending the funding to the National Institute of Health to provide even more money to private industry. The GOP is assuming that private industry has the facilities and interest in conducting this research at all. I do recall how private industry abandons 'Orphan Drugs' such as vaccines and then there are shortages when the need arises. So, to expect private industry to pick up these monies and actually conduct the research the NIH already conducts isn't even noted here with research to that need. So, the bill is basically mute. The monies will go into a fund at the in "The Common Fund" whatever that is and sit there until the GOP comes up with a better idea to use the monies or simply place it back into the treasury.

This is typical of this Congress. They propose populous idea after populous idea into legislation. The GOP Congress this session is a Field of Dreams. "If you build it they will come." 

This is nothing more than gambling with the lives of children in unproven facilities and private concerns.

This is the beginning of the defunding of the NIH.

Authorizes $13 million out of the 10-Year Pediatric Research Initiative Fund for each of FY2014-FY2023 for pediatric research through the Common Fund. Requires such funds to supplement, not supplant, funds otherwise allocated by NIH for pediatric research. Prohibits the use of such amounts for any purpose other than making grants for pediatric research described in this Act.

Just for perspective "The Common Fund" (click here) in the real world is a venture capital company.

This is more of the shuffle of the House. Defunding pensions and then shifting it to spending. Same nonsense. 

I want to hear from the NIH and their recognition of this bill. No differently than we needed to hear from the pensioners in the budget now proposed.

These decisions are being drawn up without significant information in allowing them to pass.

This bill was 'thunk up' in May 2013 and it is already being voted on. That is not what I call a well researched bill.

[Congressional Bills 113th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 2019 Introduced in House (IH)]

1st Session

H. R. 2019

To eliminate taxpayer financing of presidential campaigns and party conventions and reprogram savings to provide for a 10-year pediatric research initiative through the Common Fund administered by the National Institutes of Health, and for other purposes....


(a) Termination of Designation of Income Tax Payments.--Section 6096 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

``(d) Termination.--This section shall not apply to taxable years ending on or after the date of the enactment of this subsection.''.

(b) Termination of Fund and Account.--

(1) Termination of presidential election campaign fund.--

(A) In general.--Chapter 95 of such Code is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

Just like that the US House is defunding elections in the USA. Amazing.

This is the GOP's idea of a JOBS ACT. Take from Peter to give to Paul and don't let the public know we are doing it, because it will cause job losses at NIH.

This is the way the GOP thinks of the Private Sector. It is ? not ? government, just government money.


``The provisions of this chapter shall not apply with respect to any presidential election (or any presidential nominating convention) after the date of the enactment of this section, or to any candidate in such an election.''.

The GOP taketh and giveth away. First the bill takes money from the elections funds and for the next years those monies will be used as grants, etc. for pediatric research. Then when the ten years are up the monies are suppose to be put back into an election fund.

That is unworkable. A research institution that actually finds solutions to disease takes often more than ten years. So, after ten years these grants drop those receiving the monies in mid-air. The GOP in their 'magical thinking' believes there will be earth shaking outcomes from these then years and will translate into profits for the private institutions and therefore they are on their own.

This is amazing how completely nonsense these monies are. After the ten years of not funding elections it is them simply a matter of ending the election funding all together.

``(2) Termination.--Any amounts in the fund that remain unobligated on October 1, 2024, shall be deposited into the general fund of the Treasury.''

The monies left over in the 10-Year Pediatric Research Initiative Fund on October 1, 2024 won't go into an election fund or the NIH for further research, it will be transferred to the General Treasury Fund.

continued in next entry...

I don't think I've seen Steny Hoyer more upset as he was today on the floor of the house.

December 11, 2013
WASHINGTON, DC – House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) (click here) today kicked off debate on H.R. 2019, the Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act. This bill would redirect wasteful spending on political conventions to important, scientific, pediatric research. H.R. 2019 was introduced by committee member Rep. Gregg Harper (R-MS) in April....
This bill will take monies from taxpayer donations to support political party conventions and put it instead in a fund for pediatric research. The $3.00 people check on their income tax return to fund conventions for candidates for President. 

There was an article last year in the LA Times that explains how the editors believe the monies people pay should not be used for the purpose it was originally legislated to do.

July 05, 2012

...We agree. (click here) It's true that the $18.4 million each convention will receive for expenses comes from a pool of funds created by the decision of some taxpayers to designate $3 of their income taxes to the Presidential Election Campaign Fund. (Whether taxpayers realize their contributions underwrite conventions as well as candidates is another question.) But every dollar not spent on what has become a substanceless media event is a dollar that could be spent on something else.

More to the point, the subsidy hasn't prevented the evil it was designed to curb: special-interest funding for convention-related activities that might put the parties and their nominees in the donors' debt. Although the parties themselves may spend only what they receive from the U.S. Treasury, local "host committees" can solicit private funds. The committee for this year's Democratic convention in Charlotte, N.C., has set a fundraising goal of almost $37 million; Republicans hope to raise $55 million....

The complaint by Representative Hoyer is that there is actually no monies proposed for this in a way that matters and defunds the NIH of $800 million they already receive for pediatric research. In other words, the NIH is being defunded.

I have to look at the bill, but, in my opinion if the federal government is going to play with monies voluntarily paid for the purpose of free and equal elections they are overreaching their authority.

What this bill will do is provide a convention paid for by special interests. That isn't a convention. That is a platform for cronies. These monies are used in several ways already, one is for party conventions and the other for candidates. In the past two elections the President refused these funds and accepted donations as a candidate. However, both party conventions received these monies. I find it really interesting this is even an issue when in fact those monies are still in use by majority parties. That seems strange to me. Why not defund the candidate monies if they aren't being used? But, to simply transfer monies from this fund to arbitrary PROJECTS by the GOP is unconstitutional. These funds were always to be used by both parties not just one.

H.R.2019 - Kids First Research Act of 2013 (click here)

Introduced in House (05/16/2013)

Kids First Research Act of 2013 - Amends the Internal Revenue Code to terminate: (1) the taxpayer election to designate $3 of income tax liability for financing of presidential election campaigns, (2) the Presidential Election Campaign Fund, and (3) the Presidential Primary Matching Payment Account.
Redesignates the Presidential Election Campaign Fund as the 10-Year Pediatric Research Initiative Fund. Makes amounts in the Fund available only for allocation to national research institutes and national centers through the Common Fund for making grants for pediatric research under this Act. Requires deposit into the Treasury general fund of any amounts in the Pediatric Research Initiative Fund that remain unobligated on October 1, 2024.
It would place grants in private institutions. The purpose here is to shift funding of the NIH in pediatric research to that of private industry. It is a crony bill. The NIH already receives $800 million for pediatric research and instead the GOP wants to take these monies and provide private institutes with funding.
Amends the Public Health Service Act to require the Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), through the Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives, to allocate funds appropriated under this Act to the national research institutes and national centers for making grants for pediatric research representing important areas of emerging scientific opportunities, rising public health challenges, or knowledge gaps that deserve special emphasis and would benefit from conducting or supporting additional research that involves collaboration between two or more national research institutes or national centers, or would otherwise benefit from strategic coordination and planning.
Authorizes $13 million out of the 10-Year Pediatric Research Initiative Fund for each of FY2014-FY2023 for pediatric research through the Common Fund. Requires such funds to supplement, not supplant, funds otherwise allocated by NIH for pediatric research. Prohibits the use of such amounts for any purpose other than making grants for pediatric research described in this Act.
continued in next entry...

I just talked with my mother.

She thought she had some kind of contact dermatitis and was using a cream from her doctor to treat it. It got a little better, but, it persisted. So she went back to the doc and he decided it might be more of a cellulitis than thought. That was cellulitis and not cellulite. Big Difference. So that was an honest assessment, with the methodology, to do the least most invasive method and proceed from there. Basically, do no harm. With someone elderly that is a very good idea.

She got a prescription of erythromycin (generic) 500 by mouth twice daily, first dose now and he sends the order to her pharmacy over the net.

Okay, so she goes to pay for it and it was $63.43. She was astounded. It wasn't as though she couldn't pay for it, but, get real here. She didn't want to take the medicine and was going to call the doctor about it. She is 77 and going to be 78 in January, but, she is feisty. She is very courageous. So, she was going to give the doctor a piece of her mind knowing what the prescription cost under Part D Medicare.

The Pharmacist stated she should have a seat and he would call the doctor as it seemed as though he was not listed with Part D Blue Cross and Blue Shield. The MD had his practice partner look at the chart and the medication was then ordered with a physician that did already have Part D listing. Evidently, the doctor my mother saw was new to the practice and she has seen his partner before.

So, after that was all straighten out the prescription cost $15.00 co-pay. Better, but, I told her I thought that was still to high for a generic. 

A couple of things happened with that drug. The CASH price was $215.69. The price with a physician not listed with Part D Medicare was $63.43 and the price with a physician listed with Part D Medicare was $15.00.

I am outraged. A generic should never cost $215.69. Then to realize a 77 year old woman isn't given the same price within Part D as her cohort with an MD listed on the plan is discrimination. The participants in Part D Medicare should never have to worry about getting the best price in their co-pay within the plan they have chosen EVER. I mean NEVER.

The cash price is outrageous. Rarely do consumers ever check the cash price when they pick up a medication, but, simply pay their co-pay. They figure the insurance will take care of the rest so why should they worry about it. That cash price and the difference in co-pay must be a write off for someone, either the pharmacy, the supplier, the pharmacist or all three.

How is it that a generic drug that has been on the market for decades costs $216.69? That is some of the most exploitative practices I have ever heard of and then people want to know why their premiums go up. 

If the federal legislature doesn't do something about this exploitation to extend the Medicare benefits then they aren't doing their job. Americans should never have to suffer such financial issues because a doctor doesn't want to participate and why is it they are in practice without being listed with Part D? They aren't filling the prescriptions. Some kind of kick-back for writing the prescription when not listed with Part D that is higher than if they are listed? That is ridiculous. 

There are a lot of disincentives for the elderly to stay home and not go to a doctor and they all need to be improved!

There is a question the American Voter has to add to their political dialogue

Elected officials are only in office for the short term gains they can bring. That is fine, but, what many don't bother about is the fact their actions today have long term consequences.

The Voters in the USA need to ask their candidates, "What are the long term consequences and how have you planned for them?"

One of the reasons there are federal and state deficits larger than most voters want to have exist, is because of long term consequences previous legislators never bothered to identify. The best example is the EPA and the Superfund. That fund was set up decades ago, because, no one asked the industries in the country, "What are the long term consequences so that we can plan for them." 

If long term consequences were in the planning of any action of government, the USA and most probably the global community would not be facing hardship today.
This is the WATERSHED of the Little Missouri River in North Dakota. 

In North Dakota, (click here) the Little Missouri River enters the southwestern corner of the State and flows in a northerly and then easterly direction to its confluence with Lake Sakakawea near Killdeer.  The river flows through the Little Missouri National Grasslands and Theodore Roosevelt National Park and is the only river that the State has designated as a scenic river.

The Little Missouri River is characterized by a highly seasonal flow.  Before canoeing, it is important to check conditions on the river to determine that the river is not flooding and that there is adequate water for canoeing.

The Little Missouri River has a drainage area of about 4,750 square miles in North Dakota.  The treeless and barren slopes of the Little Missouri River Basin produce rapid and excessive overland runoff, and tributary streams flood frequently.  Because the river channels of the basin are in the easily eroded shale and sandstone of the badlands, large quantities of sediment are transported downstream.

What does all that mean? It means that anything running into the Little Missouri River through tributaries or otherwise can be incorporated with the sediment the river carries downstream. Some of the sediment in the Little Missouri River is sandstone. Sandstone is very porous. It's porosity ratings are from 15% to 30%. 

What is a watershed? It is the area of land that receives precipitation, transports over land (which is called overland flow) and deposits the water into streams and ultimately rivers. It is where cities and towns receive their drinking water otherwise known as potable water.
Interesting to know, right? So this is why it is interesting to know that.

FRACKING is destroying the water supply of the Little Missouri River and polluting federal parks and federal forests, while ruining a scenic river used for enjoyment by the public.

December 09, 2013 5:06 pm
By Nick Smith
BISMARCK, N.D. — The North Dakota Department of Health (click here) said Monday that it is monitoring a spill of saltwater and oil in Billings County, of which some reached a small tributary of the Little Missouri River.
According to a Health Department statement, the amount of material spilled is estimated at 650 barrels of saltwater and 20 barrels of crude oil.
The well site is owned by Midland, Texas-based BTA Oil Producers LLC. The spill was reported to the Health Department on Sunday afternoon.

It is really great the polluter in this instance is an LLC. Amazing.
Dennis Fewless, water quality director for the Health Department, said the spill is located about 4½ miles west of the Little Missouri River and about 15 miles northwest of Medora.
Fewless said the materials seeped from the well site "about a half-mile down the drainage" where the company has set up temporary dams in order to collect the material.

SEEPED. You know what that means? It means it was an accident and it wasn't mechanical. It also means the the CASINGS the company is using including CONCRETE can't contain the fracking fluids. The casing is leaking. The casing that lines the well has FAILED.
The well site also borders U.S. Forest Service land, which is where the spill leaked. Fewless said the Health Department is monitoring the spill and cleanup.
The spill was one of two reports involving well sites over the weekend. State agencies also received a report of a fire at a saltwater disposal well site....

I hope that state is monitoring more than saltwater in the samples they are collecting. Saltwater is only ONE component that enters these wells and any seepage MUST be regarded as highly contaminated and tested for every known toxin this industry uses as well as any they DON'T claim they use.

Basically, leave no stone unturned.

The rocks in the foreground of this picture are approximately 3 to 4 million years old. They are on one of the national parks along the Little Missouri River.

The light colored stone in the background is sandstone. As one can easily discern it is susceptible to erosion from rain or snow and/or wind. When eroded it turns into sediment and is transported to the streams and then the Little Missouri River. 

The sediment can contain and store toxins from overland flow into the rivers. The sediment of any body of water is tested every 5 years or so by the US Army Corp. They test these sediments for what might be contained in them because it can effect water quality. So. The point is the State Health Department in North Dakota needs to not only test the water, but, the sediment as well TODAY and for years into the FUTURE. Seeps don't just stop seeping. Seeps, especially oil seeps, are usually forever.

The petroleum industry is disturbing the rock. The fracked rock is a permanent disturbance. What do you expect?
If Republicans can blame The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act for pulling the plug on Grandma, I am sure they will blame this on the law, too.

December 10, 20136:42 a.m.

Healthcare giant Kaiser Permanente (click here) has notified about 49,000 patients of a privacy breach at its Anaheim Medical Center.
Kaiser said a computer flash drive was reported missing Sept. 25 inside the hospital's nuclear medicine department. The storage drive included patient names, date of birth, their medical record number and the type and amount of a specific medication.
The files didn't contain Social Security numbers or financial information, the company said.
"Kaiser Permanente takes the protection of our members' personal and health information seriously, and we apologize for this occurrence," said Kaiser spokeswoman Peggy Hinz.
The Oakland healthcare system said the missing data weren't encrypted or password-protected. The company advised patients to monitor their medical records "to ensure no fraudulent use of their medical information has taken place."
Ginger Buck, a retiree in San Bernardino County, said Kaiser notified her last week that she was among the 49,000 patients affected by the incident. She's been a Kaiser patient since 1997....

So, let me get this right.

There is increased spending on the military and domestic budget, BUT, there are cuts in military and federal pensions.


Call me crazy, but, just seems to me the increase in military and domestic spending could counter ? any ? need for their pensions to be cut.

Oh, wait. The cuts in pensions are going to fund high levels of spending for military and domestic contractors. Did I get that right? I think that is among the lowest blow any USA Budget could render. 

We ask military families to sacrifice as soldiers and officers are deployed and sometimes into dangerous places, putting their lives on the line for this country and we are going to ask them to sacrifice again while Wall Street contractors rack in the bucks?

And federal workers often work for less than the private sector and now their pensions are going to be cut so the government can fund their Wall Street contractors?

Why is that so obviously immoral? 

These folks didn't sign on for careers in the government or our military so that further down the line when they are preparing to retire, their pensions are cut so more spending can be done. That is outrageous.