A compilation of local and state records show that 52 people died as a result of the heat wave that recently covered almost the entire nation.
A debilitating heat wave has caused at least 52 deaths, with 3,500 temperature records shattered across the country from June 30 to July 6. "We had every single state in the lower 48 hit 90 or 100 degrees because of this heat wave," WCBS New York meteorologist Lonnie Quinn said. "That's unheard of." Washington, D.C., for instance, saw its 11th consecutive day of plus-95 degree temperatures, the longest streak ever for the city. So far this year, there have been 40,000 heat records set across the U.S., according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
For comparison's sake — roughly 30 Americans have been killed by terrorism inside the United States over the past decade, and many of those deaths were a result of domestic terrorism, not Islamic extremists. Additionally, an average of 16 Americans were killed by terrorists overseas per year during the same time period. And the odds of being killed by a terrorist on an airplane are about 1 in 10 million.
I would not be surprised if radical state legislatures start passing laws that ban Heat Indexes. Banning accurate measure of sea-level rise is already on the books.
There's been a lot of yammering about the taxes in the Affordable Care Act. Apart from the penalty for not complying with the mandate, here's a rundown of the actual tax hikes in the bill. And hey — guess what? They're both (all two of them) are taxes against wealthier Americans who can very much afford the extra pennies on the dollar.
So where does the money come from? The law's biggest tax increase, at least in the first decade, is a 0.9 percent increase in the Medicare payroll tax paid by Americans earning more than $200,000 a year. Long-term, however, the largest increase — and certainly the most important one for the future of the health-care system — will be the excise tax on high-value health insurance plans, which begins in 2018.
Few phrases in the English language send readers fleeing as quickly as "excise tax on high-value health insurance plans." So I'll try to explain this as quickly and painlessly as possible. It's a tax on unusually expensive, employer-provided health insurance plans. It begins at $10,200 for an individual plan and $27,500 for a family plan. Above that, there's a 40 percent tax on the excess premiums. So if your plan is valued at $11,200, your employer will pay a 40 percent tax on the $1,000 surplus.
Screech! And just a reminder: the so-called "biggest tax hike in history" is much smaller than the Reagan tax hike of 1982.
Is it legal for me to personally import drugs?Excuse me, but I've been traveling to France for years and they have THE SAME EXACT DRUGS MADE BY THE SAME EXACT PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES SELLING FOR 1/3 TO 1/5 THE COST THEY CHARGE AMERICANS FOR THE EXACT SAME THING. Period. Advair, sold in both countries by same company, is 1/5 the cost in France. Singulair, 1/4 the price. Pulmicort, 1/3.
In most circumstances, it is illegal for individuals to import drugs into the United States for personal use. This is because drugs from other countries that are available for purchase by individuals often have not been approved by FDA for use and sale in the United States. For example, if a drug is approved by Health Canada (FDA's counterpart in Canada) but has not been approved by FDA, it is an unapproved drug in the United States and, therefore, illegal to import. FDA cannot ensure the safety and effectiveness of drugs that it has not approved.
FDA, however, has a policy explaining that it typically does not object to personal imports of drugs that FDA has not approved under certain circumstances, including the following situation:The drug is for use for a serious condition for which effective treatment is not available in the United States;
There is no commercialization or promotion of the drug to U.S. residents;
The drug is considered not to represent an unreasonable risk;
The individual importing the drug verifies in writing that it is for his or her own use, and provides contact information for the doctor providing treatment or shows the product is for the continuation of treatment begun in a foreign country; and
Generally, not more than a 3-month supply of the drug is imported.
These aren't crazy knock-off drugs from Timbuktu. They aren't stolen formulas being reproduced in the developing world. They're drugs made by the same companies, often sold under the same names, and those same companies agree to sell the same drugs for significantly less in Europe because they know they can make up the difference, and then some, by gouging Americans at home (I have been told this by numerous sources on the inside).
We are subsidizing low drug prices in Europe in order to pad the profits of American drug companies. You are paying what amounts to a tax on your prescription drug purchases in order to help Europeans buy cheaper drugs. How do you like them apples?
The FDA doesn't tell you any of that. They don't tell you that one of the main reasons you can't buy cheaper drugs in Europe and Canada and bring them home is because the FDA is in cahoots with Big Pharma in order to line the pockets of Big Pharma at the expense of every day Americans. Funny how that never made it into their cute little "explanation" as to why they don't want you buying cheaper drugs abroad.
It's is beyond offensive - I'd dare say criminal - that the FDA of a Democratic administration is spouting GOP pro-Pharma propaganda.
Swirling amid the black hole of information are a host of theories about Obama's whereabouts – particularly during the 1981-1982 school year – including speculation he was working for the CIA in Pakistan.
The story more closely resembles a Saturday Night Live parody of birther conspiracy theorists than an actual news report, yet Matt Drudge, former darling of assignment editors in newsrooms across the country, found it worthy of a link on his highly-trafficked home page.
It's the latest in a long and growing line of conspiratorial headlines that Drudge has heavily promoted, including links to 9/11 truthers, birthers and more.
The Mitt Romney campaign's public decision to forego actual journalists in favor of pandering to gossip sites like Drudge Report and Breitbart.com has raised concern that voters won't actually be exposed to thorough reporting on a top presidential candidate.
In what is either an inspring story of God's love for us all or maybe evidence that first responders deserve far better treatment for PTSD, very serious news site WND brings us the account of one Lillie Leonardi, who was the community affairs coordinator for the FBI's Pittsburgh office when she was sent to the United Airlines Flight 93 crash site on Sept. 11, 2001. In a recently self-published memoir, In the Shadow of a Badge: A Spiritual Memoir, Ms. Leonardi reveals that when she arrived at the site outside Shanksville, Pennsylvania, she saw angels appearing all around the perimeter of the crash site:
"All of a sudden, I kept seeing this flicker of light. You saw all these angels manifest. One in particular, in front, that I knew, it was Michael. He knew I was there to do something. I just didn't know what it was at that moment. He's the conduit to God as far as I'm concerned. I'm then the conduit for other people to listen to what has to be said. And then it's their choice to decide what to do."
How much more abuse from Republican politicians are Americans willing to put up with?
Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Monday he will not implement 'Obamacare' provisions such as the Medicaid expansion and the insurance exchanges. The decision could mean that Texas ultimately loses an opportunity to cover half of its uninsured residents and relinquishes to the federal government more control over its health care system.
After informing the Obama administration of his intentions in a letter, Perry went on Fox News to explain his position. "If anyone had any doubt, we wanted to put it clearly to bed that Texas wasn't going to be a part of expanding socializing of our medicine," he said. "So we're not going to participate in any exchanges. We're not going to expand Medicaid."
One in four Texans are uninsured, the highest rate of any state. The Medicaid expansion would cover 49.4 percent of uninsured Texans by 2019, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. The program is broadened to cover Americans within 133 percent of the poverty line — currently the eligibility for a working Texan parent cuts off at 27 percent. The federal government will cover the full cost of the first three years and pay 90 percent thereafter.
Sad. You've got to feel for the people of Texas that they're stuck with this ignorant prick for a governor. When asked what his decision means for the one in four Texans who have no health insurance, Perry said:
We've got some of the finest health care in the world. So the idea that this federal government, which doesn't like Texas to begin with, to pick and choose and come up with some data and say somehow Texas has the worst health care system in the world is just fake and false on its face.
Typical response from a conservative who doesn't like hard data or evidence that does not support his own delusional beliefs. Claim the data false, attack those who produced the data and then deflect the discussion in some unrelated way. Debate over.
Let's be clear – if you're an American and part of the lower 95 percent of wager earners who are intending on voting for any Republican this November, then you are either a terribly misinformed citizen or a terribly ignorant individual…or both. And if you are in that top 5 percent and plan on voting Republican, then you are either a terribly misinformed citizen or a heartless bastard…or both.
Mitt Romney, he of Swiss bank accounts and Cayman Islands and Bermuda offshore tax havens, had a fund-raiser in the Hamptons over the weekend. Luncheons and dinners at the homes of a few billionaires was expected to rake in over $3 million for the Romney campaign. The NYT described the event as such:
Mr. Romney arrived in this town of outsized homes and conspicuous consumption for the first of three major fund-raisers on Sunday afternoon, his motorcade of Chevrolet Suburbans passing a gleaming line of Bentleys, Porsches and a Mercedes Benzes waiting to deposit guests who paid up to $25,000 a head to hear him speak.
Here's the money quote from the article.
A woman in a blue chiffon dress poked her head out of a black Range Rover here on Sunday afternoon and yelled to an aide to Mitt Romney, "Is there a V.I.P. entrance. We are V.I.P."
This is Mitt Romney's world – the one he was born into and the only one he knows and understands. While no once can criticize Romney for living the type of privileged life that most people would love to have, it has become painfully obvious that the man has no frame of reference for understanding the plight of the 99 percent of Americans who don't drive Bentleys and Porsches.
Mitt Romney dreams of being the president of a country where 88 percent of the working population earn less than $75,000 a year; the same country that allows his wife a tax write-off of $77,000 for her dressage horse; that allows him to legally shelter his fortune in tax-free offshore bank accounts…and a country of which he is proud of saying that he will repeal ObamaCare, therefore depriving 50 million of its less fortunate citizens the opportunity to obtain basic, life-saving health insurance.
That is the V.I.P world of Mitt Romney and he wants to be your president.