Is Your Painkiller Part Of A Fabricated Medical Study?

Lyrica, Bextra, Vioxx, and Celebrex are four major painkillers that received positive reviews in fabricated medical studies.  If you take Wyeth’s antidepressant Effexor XR for depression, it is part of the false studies also.   A truly sad day for pain management research.

We’ve followed plenty of controversies around drug trials, from ghostwriting to keeping quiet about unflattering results. But the latest news is particularly eye-popping: A prominent Massachusetts anesthesiologist allegedly fabricated 21 medical studies involving major drugs. Yikes.

Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Mass., has asked several anesthesiology journals to retract the studies, which appeared between 1996 and 2008, the WSJ reports. The hospital says its former chief of acute pain, Scott S. Reuben, faked data used in the studies.

This follows on the heels of a complaint in February, by the Justice Department against Forest Laboratories involving the antidepressants Celexa and Lexapro.  They claim that the drug company was hiding negative study results.

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Oops! Breaking news from Alaska

Hot off the presses . . . or at least hot off the radio.

Levi is going to need some painful tattoo removal.

The engagement is off for the teenage daughter of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and the father of her baby.

Levi Johnston told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he and Bristol Palin mutually decided “a while ago” to end their relationship. The 19-year-old Johnston declined to elaborate.

Eighteen-year-old Bristol Palin said in a statement to the AP that she is “devastated.”

The two are the parents of a boy named Tripp, who was born Dec. 27.

Sarah Palin revealed her daughter’s pregnancy days after being named John McCain’s running mate on the Republican presidential ticket.

In an interview that aired on Fox News last month, Bristol Palin said her fiance saw the baby every day and described him as a “hands-on” dad.

The two had said they were considering a summer wedding.

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How DARE you say 9/11 happened on Bush’s watch!

Oh boy…popcorn all around! This from the Bush Legacy Revisionism Tour ™.

Chris Matthews asks Ari Fleischer about how Bush left the economy. Fleischer answers 9/11! 9/11! Then the money shot…

Matthews: We were attacked on your watch. If you start getting into who was attacked when, we suffered the worst domestic calamity in history on your watch.

Fleischer: Chris, how dare you!

Priceless!

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FDIC in Crisis?

Your Government At Work

Your Government At Work

This is unbelievable.

The federal agency that insures bank deposits, which is asking for emergency powers to borrow up to $500 billion to take over failed banks, is facing a potential major shortfall in part because it collected no insurance premiums from most banks from 1996 to 2006.

The federal agency that insures bank deposits, which is asking for emergency powers to borrow up to $500 billion to take over failed banks, is facing a potential major shortfall in part because it collected no insurance premiums from most banks from 1996 to 2006.

Bair [FDIC Chairwoman] said yesterday that the agency’s failure to collect premiums from most banks “was surprising to me and of concern.” As a Treasury Department official in 2001, she said, she testified on Capitol Hill about the need to impose the fees, but nothing happened. Congress did not grant the authority for the fees until 2006, just weeks before Bair took over the FDIC. She then used that authority to impose the fees over the objections of some within the banking industry.

I didn’t know whether I should use the Three Stooges or Dumb and Dumber as the most appropriate graphical depiction of this potential disaster.  At this point, I think being completely broke or stashing whatever cash I might manage to save in a tin can buried in the barn might be the best way to go.

Now both parties are responsible for this mess – if for nothing else not bringing it to the public’s attention, but, for the record, which party held the majority in Congress from 1996 to 2006? Just sayin’.

h/t: Washington Monthly

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Beyond CNBC v. Jon Stewart

As we watch the amusing back and forth between Jon Stewart and Jim Cramer, as you an see here and here, there is a bigger point to be made.  Is Cramer a criminal?

Julie Satow at Huffington Post has exposed Jim Kramer admitting to this questionable behavior.

In light of the current economic crisis, and with the hullabaloo ignited recently by Jon Stewart over the accuracy of CNBC’s reporting, we thought it might be useful to revisit this shocking 2006 interview Jim Cramer gave to TheStreet.com’s Aaron Task.

In it, the host of Mad Money says he regularly manipulated the market when he ran his hedge fund. He calls it “a fun game, and it’s a lucrative game.” He suggests all hedge fund managers do the same. “No one else in the world would ever admit that, but I could care. I am not going to say it on TV,” he quips in the video.

He also calls Wall Street Journal reporters “bozos” and says behaving illegally is okay because the SEC doesn’t understand it anyway.

On falsely creating the impression a stock is down (what he calls “fomenting”): “You can’t foment. That’s a violation… But you do it anyway because the SEC doesn’t understand it.” He adds, “When you have six days and your company may be in doubt because you are down, I think it is really important to foment.”

Why is Cramer not being investigated by the SEC, that group which just “doesn’t understand” the gaming Cramer did?  And what type of ethics does this demonstrate this man has? (I would say none.)  This is stealing from the masses to give to the rich…the anti-Robin Hood.  Robin Hoodwinked is more like it.

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The wedding’s off..?

I know. Who cares…

Apparently, Bristol Palin’s wedding has been called off.
(Was it ever ‘really on’ – except for media and political purposes?)

…in a new interview with Star Magazine, Levi’s sister Mercede Johnston says Bristol actually broke up with Levi more than a month ago, is not attending school and rarely lets her baby daddy see their young son. Mercede also says Bristol even told him that she hates him and, when she learned she was pregnant, wished the baby wasn’t his.

Mercede told Star: “Bristol’s just crazy. That’s the nicest way I can put it. She and Levi actually broke up a while ago!”

I wonder how this will affect the “Draft Palin” effort…

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Vitter throws a tantrum at the airport

Oops… Wrong airport tantrum video….

The story is that Senator David Vitter (R-LA), you know, the über religious conservative senator who in 2007 was involved in the 2007 D.C. Madam prostitution scandal, showed up late Tuesday night (20 minutes before his flight was supposed to depart) at Dulles Airport.

The gate was locked so Vitter tried opening the door. He set off the alarm, and then went into a tirade with an airline worker:

Vitter, our spy said, gave the airline worker an earful, employing the timeworn “do-you-know-who-I-am” tirade that apparently grew quite heated.

That led to some back and forth, and the worker announced to the irritable Vitter that he was going to summon security.

Vitter, according to the witness, remained defiant, yelling that the employee could call the police if he wanted to and their supervisors, who, presumably, might be more impressed with his Senator’s pin.

But after talking a huffy big game, Vitter apparently thought better of pushing the confrontation any further. When the gate attendant left to find a security guard, Vitter turned tail and simply fled the scene.

Testy… (H/T: 5thstate)

UPDATE: The Times-Picayune is now reporting a statement by Senator Vitter, saying the incident was “over-stated”:

“After being delayed on the Senate floor ensuring a vote on my anti-pay-raise amendment and in a rush to make my flight home for town hall meetings the next day, I accidentally went through a wrong door at the gate,” Vitter said in a statement. “I did have a conversation with an airline employee, but it was certainly not like this silly gossip column made it out to be.”

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No Beds, No Homes = “Tent Cities”

Sacramento is just one of many cities which their shelters have run out of beds.

As many as 50 people a week are turning up and the authorities estimate that the tent city is now home to more than 1,200 people.

In a state more known for its fantastic wealth and the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, the images have shocked many Americans.Conditions are primitive, with no water supply or proper sanitation.

Many residents have to walk up to three miles to buy bottled water from petrol stations or convenience stores.

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