Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Maxim Vengerov and Chicago S.O. Sibelius Violin Concerto

After Heifitz there's Vengerov. And that's about it.

Rigorous Study Finds Antidepressants Worsen Long-Term Outcomes

Peter Simons October 31, 2017

A new study conducted by Jeffrey Vittengl at Truman University has found that taking antidepressant medications resulted in more severe depression symptoms after nine years.

The study, published in Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, examined outcomes over a nine-year period and included initial depression severity as well as other factors. Vittengl divided treatment into categories and compared them to those who received no treatment:
inadequate treatment without medication (fewer than eight sessions of therapy)
inadequate treatment including medication (fewer than four appointments with prescriber)
adequate treatment without medication (at least eight sessions of therapy)
adequate treatment with medication (at least four appointments with prescriber)

Of participants with depression, 38.1% received no treatment, 25.2% received inadequate treatment with medication, while 13.5% received adequate treatment with medication. 19.2% received inadequate treatment without medication, and only 4.1% received adequate treatment without medication.

The results were startling. Even after controlling for depression severity, participants who took medication had significantly more severe symptoms at the nine-year follow-up than participants who did not. In fact, even people who received no treatment at all did better than those who received medication. “Adequacy” of treatment did not appear to make much of a difference. Photo Credit: Philippa Willitts, “A is for antidepressants,” Flickr

These results add to a body of research that indicates that antidepressants worsen long-term outcomes. In an article published in 1994, the psychiatrist Giovanni Fava wrote that “Psychotropic drugs actually worsen, at least in some cases, the progression of the illness which they are supposed to treat.” In a 2003 article, he wrote: “A statistical trend suggested that the longer the drug treatment, the higher the likelihood of relapse.”

Previous research has also found that antidepressants are no more effective than placebo for mild-to-moderate depression, and other studies have questioned whether such medications are effective even for severe depression. Concerns have also been raised about the health risks of taking antidepressants—such as a recent study which found that taking antidepressants increases one’s risk of death by 33% (see MIA report).

In fact, studies have demonstrated that as many as 85% of people recover spontaneously from depression. In a recent example, researchers found that only 35% of people who experienced depression had a second episode within 15 years. That means that 65% of people who have a bout of depression are likely never to experience it again.

Critics of previous findings have argued that it is not fair to compare those receiving antidepressants with those who do not. They argue that initial depression severity confounds the results—those with more severe symptoms may be more likely to be treated with antidepressants. Thus, according to some researchers, even if antidepressants worked as well as psychotherapy or receiving no treatment, those treated with antidepressants would still show worse outcomes—because they had more severe symptoms in the first place.

That is why, in the current study, Vittengl included initial and follow-up depression severity in his analysis, as well as other variables that might provide alternate explanations for the results. This provides a direct counterargument to those who argue that initial severity confounds the results.

To this end, he used data from the Midlife Development in the United States Survey, which tracked depression severity as well as types of treatment utilized over the course of nine years. The data were collected in three waves (1995-1996, 2004-2006, and 2013-2014), and 3,294 participants remained in the study by the third wave.

The survey collected data on depression, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, as well as other medical conditions, family history of mental health conditions, and childhood trauma. Additional data included personality factors, social support, daily functioning, and alcohol use. Because all of this information was included in the survey, Vittengl was able to add it in his analysis.

He found that although these factors impacted depressive symptoms, they did so equally between the groups. That is, initial depression severity does predict lack of improvement—but it does so whether the person is taking medication or not. Therefore, it does not explain how outcomes could be worse with medication.

Perhaps the most notable limitation of Vittengl’s study is his distinction between “adequate” or “inadequate” treatment based solely on the number of sessions (because that was tracked in the survey). This may not be the best indicator of whether participants were receiving sufficient care. However, this does not impact his general findings comparing treatment with medication to treatment without medication and to the group that received no treatment.

Although Vittengl writes that antidepressants may have an immediate, short-term benefit, he argues that long-term use appears to be detrimental. His results suggest that in general, people actually fare better over the long-term if they seek no treatment at all than if they take antidepressant medications. Psychotherapy, on the other hand, appeared to have no detrimental effects. However, even doing nothing was more successful at reducing symptoms after nine years than medication use.


Vittengl, J. R. (2017). Poorer long-term outcomes among persons with major depressive disorder treated with medication. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 86, 302-304. doi: 10.1159/000479162 (Link)

Thank You Mr Simons and MIA. 

Report: ObamaCare Premiums Up 37% As Health Insurer Participation Declines

Ali Meyer
October 30, 2017 11:10 am

Fewer enrollees will have access to a plan costing less than $200 a month

The average monthly premium for Obamacare's second-lowest cost silver plan, otherwise known as the benchmark plan, is up 37 percent from 2017, according to a report from the Department of Health and Human Services. From 2016 to 2017, the premium for this type of plan increased by 24 percent.

According to the report, in 2014, when Obamacare was first implemented, the premium for the benchmark plan totaled $218 for a 27-year-old. In 2018, that same premium is expected to rise to $411.

Premiums are also increasing by 17 percent for Obamacare's lowest-cost plan. The report finds that fewer and fewer enrollees will have access to a plan that costs less than $200 a month.

"The percentage of current enrollees with access to a plan for $200 or less decreased from 16 percent for plan year 2017 to 6 percent to plan year 2018," the report states. "If enrollees were to stay within their current metal level, only 2 percent will have access to coverage with premiums of $200 or less for plan year 2018."

Taxpayers are also expected to see higher costs as premium subsidies have grown along with premium increases. In plan year 2014 when Obamacare coverage began, the average advance premium tax credit totaled $259. This year, that tax credit increased to $382, and it is projected to grow by 45 percent to $555 in the 2018 plan year.

While enrollees and taxpayers are seeing higher costs, health insurer participation and plan choices are on the decline. The report finds there will only be 132 health insurers participating next year, a decline of 21 percent from the 167 insurers participating in 2017.

There are eight states—Alaska, Delaware, Iowa, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Wyoming—that will only have one health insurer participating in the entire state. In 2016, only 2 percent of Obamacare enrollees had one choice on the exchange. Next year, that number is expected to increase to 29 percent.

"This data demonstrates just how rapidly Obamacare’s exchanges are deteriorating with skyrocketing premiums year after year, more than half of Americans with no more than two insurers to choose from, and the taxpayer burden exploding," said Caitlin Oakley, press secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.

"There is an urgent and serious need to repeal this failed law and replace it with patient-centered solutions," she said.
This entry was posted in Issues and tagged Health Insurance, Obamacare. Bookmark the permalink.

Thank You Ms Meyer and Free Beacon.

Monday, October 30, 2017

It's Failing: New HHS Report Continues Drumbeat of Dreadful ObamaCare News

Guy Benson
Posted: Oct 30, 2017 4:35 PM

[Ed; use the link for screen captures of graphics.]

Last week, we shared the results of an independent study predicting double-digit premium increases across all Obamacare coverage levels in 2018, including a 34 percent jump among "baseline" silver plans. We also highlighted a Politico review of the law's devastating impact on many consumers in Iowa, one of the states hit hardest by Obamacare's enduring and systemic failures. This week brings a fresh report from the Department of Health and Human Services, confirming the "Affordable" Care Act's continued downward spiral. Via the Washington Examiner's summary:

Health insurance premiums for the first Obamacare open enrollment under President Trump will be 37 percent higher than last year for mid-level plans sold on healthcare.gov, according to a new report by the Department of Health and Human Services...The latest report, prepared by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, found that a 27-year-old who buys a mid-level plan, known as a silver plan, and does not receive a subsidy from the federal government will pay an average of $4,932 in premiums for 2018. In 2017, someone with that profile paid $3,600 in premiums for the year, and in 2016, they paid $2,904. During Obamacare's first year, in 2014, someone with that profile would have paid $2,616. Obamacare customers will also have fewer health insurers to buy coverage from, which will also limit the doctors and hospitals that they can see under these plans. The report found that the percentage of customers who have more than two options is shrinking.

Conservative policy analyst Phil Kerpen runs through additional data points from the study:

Nearly one-third of all Obamacare consumers will be faced with one provider "choice" next year, with more than half having just one or two possible options. The total number of state-level plan issuers across the country has been slashed by more than 100 since 2015. And average rates -- which more than doubled on the federal exchange between 2013 and 2017 -- keep heading up. And that doesn't even account for prohibitively expensive out-of-pocket expenses and deductibles. On a county-by-county basis, the receding 2018 coverage map looks like this:

The Trump administration is not setting a sign-up goal for the upcoming open enrollment period, drawing new complaints of "sabotage." But critics would be wise to recall how the Obama administration consistently fell embarrassingly short of their own targets. The Congressional Budget Office's 2010 projections anticipated roughly 23 million Americans would be signed up on the Obamacare exchanges by 2018. This year's actual number: Less than 10 million. And as for claims that the Trump White House is putting its thumb on the scale to make these numbers look as bad as possible, don't forget that the final Obama-era HHS report was packed with dreadful news about the law's trajectory -- and that was before Trump started "undermining" the law by canceling illegal CSR payments and the like. In other words, even when Obamacare was being propped up by a Democratic administration, and most people expected the next Democratic administration would do the same, its impacts on affordability and consumer choice (both hallmarks of Democrats' sales pitch) were negative and deteriorating. I'll leave you with this number, which comes from a D+12 poll, and despite widespread opposition to various Republican 'repeal and replace' bills: 

Thank You Mr Benson and Townhall.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Toontown) Starts 'Impeach 45' Chant At Women's Convention

Auntie Maxine wants everyone to know how important she is because of how much she 'Cares' about the 'little people', while she's living in a $4 million dollar home.

But 1st let's have a short look at all the Big Things she's accomplished, the Improvements she's responsible for in the day to day life of her constituents, in her almost 30 years in Congress.

What Does Maxine Waters Actually Do In Congress?

Timothy Meads
Posted: Oct 28, 2017 6:15 PM

Maxine Waters (D-CA) has rebranded herself in the Trump Era as a strong public servant standing up to the corrupt, demagogic president. Repeatedly, she has harangued the president during speeches that range from AIDS fundraisers to LGBT Gala award dinners.

Today in Michigan, Waters led a raucous chorus at a women’s rally, chanting “Impeach 45! Impeach 45!” But, people would be wise to remember that her career is one of corruption and failure.

Rep. Waters has passed just three bills in her 27 years in Congress. That means on average, Waters produces something noteworthy for constituents every 9 years. One of the bills was renaming a Post Office. Impressive stuff.

In the interim, she is busy making money for her family and allies. Her family has accrued more than a million dollars during her time in the House, according to Red Alert Politics.

Furthermore, the group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington has given Rep. Waters the most corrupt member of congress four separate times. Waters’ shady financial dealings should concern all Americans. Democrats still have produced nothing that shows President Trump should be impeached, but financial kickbacks abound for liberal members of Congress like the “great stateswoman” Waters in a slew of various ways.

Rep. Waters spoke today at a Women’s March Convention focusing largely on sexual assault. This is an important issue to focus on, especially in light of the heinous Harvey Weinstein revelations. The crowd no doubt enjoyed having Rep. Waters present; one woman telling the Detroit Free Press that she was still shaking from the experience.

"I loved how she called Trump out and I loved how she encouraged women to speak out and led us in an ‘impeach’ chant,” she said. “It was so powerful to hear thousands of women chant 'impeach.' I’m still shaking.”

But, to the women chanting along with “Auntie Maxine,” remember that aside from rhetorical posturing, she has done relatively little for you in nearly 30 years of public service.

The chant can be seen in a video @ the above link.



Maxine Waters Starts 'Impeach 45' Chant
Amber RandallCivil Rights Reporter
4:46 PM 10/28/2017

California Rep. Maxine Waters led a loud chant of “Impeach 45” during her speech at the Women’s Convention Saturday.

Waters, the headlining speaker for the Women’s March event, devoted part of her speech to leading the female attendees into a chant calling for the impeachment of President Donald Trump. Video footage shows women on their feet with their fists in the air shouting “Impeach 45! Impeach 45!”

Waters’s speech focused on the recent allegations of sexual harassment against figures like Harvey Weinstein. She also mentioned Trump’s past behavior towards women, declaring “This president has no respect for women.”

Organizers with the Women’s March decided to host a weekend long convention aimed at preparing women for the 2018 election. At $295 a ticket, women gathered in Detroit, Mich. to learn how to fundraise, how to be an ally and the issue of the “most misogynistic administration” in recent history.

Women seemed to appreciate Waters’s chant, telling the Detroit Free Press it was a powerful moment.

“I loved how she called Trump out and I loved how she encouraged women to speak out and led us in an ‘impeach’ chant,” attendee Laura Chapman said. “It was so powerful to hear thousands of women chant ‘impeach.’ I’m still shaking.”

And don't miss this snoot-full of Auntie Maxine video via WND.

Maxine Waters Has Meltdown In House Hearing

So, if you're outside the US and someone tells you, "yeah, but Everybody hates that Trump Clown", understand that Everybody is the main stream media, and folks like Maxine Waters are their track stars.

Rape, Exposure, Groping: The Story of a Dallas Psych Hospital

Robert DonachieCapitol Hill and Health Care Reporter
2:43 PM 10/29/2017

A Dallas-area psychiatric hospital is facing numerous allegations of sexual misconduct and assault, The Dallas Morning News reports.

Dallas police are currently investigating the alleged rape of a 13-year-old girl that occurred while she was a patient at Timberlawn psychiatric hospital. After news broke about the incident, investigative reporters at The Dallas Morning News found at least one other instance of reported rape and three other instances of unwanted sexual conduct since 2014.

The victims in both rape cases claim that fellow patients raped them.

One woman recounts coming out of the bathroom to find a male patient with an erect penis. The male patient reportedly said “you want this,” and then pushed her on the bed and raped her. The man later reportedly told police that it was “very easy” to get into another patient’s room at Timberlawn, The Dallas Morning News reported.

The police did not arrest the man, claiming they did not have probable cause.

The Dallas hospital is already under investigation for numerous safety violations, which were only unearthed after a patient hung themselves with bedsheets in 2014.

Timberlawn’s CEO James Miller did not respond to requests from Dallas reporters regarding the numerous reports of sexual assault. Miller did say that the well-being of the patients at Timberlawn remains the hospital’s “primary concern.” Miller also said that he does not believe Timberlawn has an above average rate of sexual misconduct, but said that even a single occurrence is “one too many,” according to The Dallas Morning News.

Thank You Mr Donachie and the DC.

Classical Music: Heifitz: Sibelius Violin Concerto

The Assault On Academic Freedom At UCLA

The College Fix
Kathryn Hinderaker - St Olaf College •October 23, 2017

Over the past few years, UCLA has lost four prominent scholars: James Enstrom, Keith Fink, Val Rust and Tim Groseclose.

Each incident is different, whether they left, resigned, or were forced out. But they all have a common thread: each professor took a stance against left-liberal principles at UCLA — and now they are no longer teaching there.

This attack on conservatism is not unique to UCLA, but the school has become the perfect case study for the phenomenon.

The converging timelines of these four professors’ experiences show that rejection of intellectual freedom in academia is a pattern of behavior, not an isolated event.

Stifling speech and diverse thought on college campuses takes place nationwide, and UCLA is no exception. Although the four recent examples found at one of California’s flagship research institutions are particularly egregious and should cause concern that the problem is pressing and must be addressed.

The case of James Enstrom

Enstrom, a professor at the UCLA School of Public Health since 1976, received a notice from the school of his termination in June 2010. His research, they say, was “not aligned with the academic mission of the Department.”

Enstrom’s crime? He had published a well researched, peer-reviewed study that debunked the false scientific theory that fine particulate air pollution kills Californians. This, he argued, was reason to eliminate many unnecessary environmental regulations in place in California, some of which were pioneered by fellow faculty.

Enstrom had been given every reason to believe his position at UCLA was secure, but once his unpopular opinions gained traction, administrators pulled the rug out from under him, and he was fired. With the help of FIRE and the American Center for Law and Justice, Enstrom sued for “being unconstitutionally retaliated against for his research and writing.” In the end, UCLA settled and Enstrom was allowed to keep his “retired researcher” status, effectively undoing the termination.

The case of Val Rust

Today Rust is a professor emeritus at UCLA. Before that he was a pioneer in his field of international and comparative education, and spent more than four decades mentoring students from around the world and assisting in international development efforts.

But after Rust corrected one student’s capitalization of the word “indigenous” and questioned modern feminist theory, students grabbed their pitchforks.

On Nov. 14, 2013, a group of students made a sudden entrance into Rust’s class, and proceeded to form a circle around him so they could read to him the grievances that “graduate students of color” had about him and his class, reports City Journal.

The school reacted to this “troubling situation” that they were taking “extremely seriously” by placing three other professors in the class with Professor Rust. Rust, presumably, was no longer capable of handling his classroom alone.

In the following weeks, the students circulated a petition for further action to be taken, and convened for a town hall. The situation escalated after Rust approached one of the protest leaders after class to engage him in conversation. The conversation resulted in the student filing a criminal charge of battery against Rust, a then 79-year-old, for at one point reaching out and touching the student’s arm. Rust was banned from school premises for the rest of the academic year.

The case of Keith Fink

Fink, an attorney, was a continuing lecturer at UCLA teaching highly popular classes on free speech, among other subjects. He was also critical of UCLA administration, and in particular their tendency to stifle students’ free speech rights.

Fink was subject to a job performance review earlier this year to determine if he will continue lecturing at the school. This is standard practice, and according to Fink, usually a breeze to pass. However, Fink said he was railroaded by a star-chamber process run by peers biased against him. He failed the performance review.

Despite petitions against the review decision and support from fellow faculty and students, Fink was terminated in June 2017. But he continues to fight back against UCLA’s oppressive administration. He even plans to establish a nonprofit to provide free legal services for UCLA students and professors whose rights have been violated.

The case of Tim Groseclose

Groseclose had taught at UCLA as a professor of political science since 2003. He’s a known conservative, and published the book “Left Turn: How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind” in 2011.

He came up for a promotion, but despite extremely favorable letters, and even some support from his far left-wing colleagues, the promotion was denied by an anonymous committee of five people.

In a recent email to The College Fix, Groseclose said that the “incident made it clear to me that conservatives were no longer welcome at UCLA.”

Groseclose also says it became clear that if he stayed at UCLA, his salary would not keep pace with inflation. And in some of the world’s best timing, a peer at George Mason University called to ask him to apply for a position there. Groseclose happily agreed, and accepted a job offer there in the fall of 2013.

Groseclose said he had seen the writing on the wall at UCLA, citing the Enstrom affair.

“So when the committee voted against my promotion, things were clear to me: Even if your research productivity is the highest in your department, even double that of second place, if you have conservative political views, then you’re not welcome at UCLA,” he said.

‘Playing russian roulette’

Reached for comment, a right-leaning UCLA professor still working there told The College Fix that “conservatives, if they are going to be conservatives [at UCLA], they are playing russian roulette. They are taking their lives into their hands.” He asked to remain unnamed.

UCLA did not respond to The College Fix’s request for comment.

The summaries of each case does not do them justice. All are clear acts of assault on academic freedom, and should not be taken lightly. But as each case is different, it shows there is more than one way for universities to expel intellectual diversity.

The examples at UCLA have borne that out.

To say there is no conclusion to be drawn between these four incidents at UCLA would be willful ignorance of a larger problem facing higher education today.

For every public case, there are perhaps a dozen more professors self-censoring to protect their jobs.

This limiting of speech in the classroom must end, or students suffer. Thinking critically is rather difficult when you have never had anyone be critical of your thoughts.

Yet this trend will likely continue at UCLA and elsewhere, and our country’s self-proclaimed bastions of diversity will continue to get more and more homogeneous.

MORE: Researcher punished for exposing climate fraud beats UCLA

MORE: Tired of Racism Claims, UCLA Student Sets Record Straight

MORE: UCLA students blocked from enrolling in conservative professor’s ‘Free Speech on Campus’ class

Thank You Ms Hinderaker and The College Fix.

UC Davis Offers Exclusive Grants To LGBT, Illegal Immigrant Students

Imagine the uproar if it was going the other way.

George Congdon - Emory University •October 24, 2017

Students need only to ‘identify’ a certain way to receive monetary gifts

Special programs at the University of California, Davis offer narrowly tailored grants based on sexual orientation, “gender identity” and immigration status, The College Fix has learned.

UC Davis’s AB540 and Undocumented Student Center offers a variety of grants intended for students who are in the country illegally. Among them are “emergency grants,” a “bedding grant” and an “UnducoScholar award.”

The emergency grants, which are capped at $500, stipulate that the recipient must have “AB540 undocumented status,” must have a “DREAM Act application on file with UC Davis Financial Aid Office,” and must have exhausted all other financial aid opportunities at the university.

However, it is unclear if it is actually necessary for recipients to have AB540 status to qualify. The emergency grant requests that “only those students who identify as AB540 / undocumented” apply for the loan.

Whether or not one can “identify” with such an immigration status without technically holding the status is unclear. The student center did not respond to The College Fix’s requests for comment on the matter.

The center also offers students in the country illegally students a “bedding grant.” The application material for that grant, which appears to comprise a gift of sheets and pillowcases, lays out no criteria students must meet in order to qualify for it; the instructions simply tell students to email the center’s director and “explain why you would like the bedding.”

Similarly, the university’s LGBTQIA+ Resource Center distributes grants to “LGBTQIA+” students. “Since funding is limited,” the application reads, “we ask that only those who identify as LGBTQIA+ and have no access to other resources and forms of continuous and abundant financial support utilize this grant.”

Reached via email, Elizabeth Coté, a representative from the Center, told The College Fix: “There are no measures taken to confirm the identities of those who apply for grants. We utilize the criteria provided by the private donor funding this grant. Scholars either self-identify as meeting those criteria or not.”

Julia Ann Easley, a campus spokeswoman, corroborated this procedure to The Fix via email: “A private donor funds the emergency grants available through the LGBTQIA Resource Center. To meet those criteria for the grants, students self-identify.”

Easley also told The Fix that the grants for students in the country illegally are funded by “a combination of developed funds and U.C. Davis President’s Undocumented Students Initiative.”

We Are Aggie Pride distributes two different “awards” to UC Davis students. As with the grants listed above, these awards do not have to be paid back.

MORE: Smith College to offer scholarship to illegal immigrants

MORE: Iowa State University offers scholarships that appear to exclude white applicants

Thank You Mr Congdon and The College Fix.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Obama Gets Called For Jury Duty


Imagine being arrested and charged with the thought crime of being a Republican.

And when you get to Court, this guy's in the jury box.


Michael Hechtman 

October 27, 2017 | 11:54pm

Former president Barack Obama will soon get a temporary government job that pays a lot less than what he earned in Washington.

Obama has been called to jury duty in Chicago — which pays $25 for the first day and $50 for each additional day of service.

Though Obama and wife Michelle own homes in both Washington and Chicago, the ex-president is registered to vote in the Windy City.

There’s no word on the exact date Obama will report.

Obama “made it crystal-clear to me through his representative that he would carry out his public duty as a citizen and resident of this community,” Cook County Chief Judge Tim Evans told the Chicago Tribune.

The former leader of the free world will be placed in a pool for either criminal or civil cases. He may be asked to report to any of the county’s courthouses in Chicago or its suburbs.

He’s certainly qualified. Besides his experience as a former president, his resume includes a Harvard law degree and experience teaching law.

Obama will be the biggest name to serve as a Cook County juror since Oprah Winfrey and Mr. T.

Winfrey served on a panel that convicted a murderer in 2004. Mr. T — whose real name is Lawrence Tureaud — reported in 2014, but was not picked for a case.

Thank You Mr Hechtman and NYPost.

Democrats Turn To Psych Profs For Dirt On Trump

What's next? Picking through Chicken Entrails?

campus reform
Kyle Perisic Leadership Institute Intern @KylePerisic on Oct 27, 2017 at 1:27 PM EDT

Several Democratic leaders have reached out to a group of psychology professors known as "Duty to Warn," which maintains that Donald Trump is too "mentally unstable" to serve as President.

The professors have received harsh criticism from some quarters for violating the "Goldwater Rule," which prevents health professionals from diagnosing a public figure if they have not personally examined them.

Democrat leaders from both the House and Senate have reached out to psychology professors over the past several months seeking input on the state of President Trump’s mental health.

In a continued effort to remove Trump from office, Democrats are now attempting to invoke the 25th Amendment by charging that he is mentally unfit for office.

“[We] hope to be to the 25th Amendment what the NRA is to the [Second Amendment]." Tweet This

“It’s one thing from my non-professional, non-clinical standpoint [to] believe that someone does not have the capacity to do the job, it’s another thing to talk to experts and [those] who can deal with mental psychosis on a daily basis, so I wanted to hear from them,” Rep. Jackie Speier, a California Democrat, told BuzzFeed News.

[RELATED: Yale prof: Trump’s ‘mental impairment’ a ‘state of emergency’]

Others, such as Democratic Rep. Frederica Wilson have supported Speier’s efforts, calling Trump a “sick man,” while California Senate Candidate Tom Steyer’s ad campaign features a call for Trump’s impeachment on the grounds that he is “mentally unstable.”

Additionally, Bandy Lee, a Yale Psychology professor, claims to have been contacted by at least a handful of lawmakers from both the House and Senate for her assessment of Trump, though she wouldn’t reveal any names.

The group with which Speier is consulting, called Duty to Warn, was founded by former Johns Hopkins Assistant Professor John Gartner with the help of Lee, and takes its name from a psychologist’s immunity from legal repercussions when disclosing information about a client who exhibits violent behavior.

“[We] hope to be to the 25th Amendment what the NRA is to the [Second Amendment],” Gartner told BuzzFeed, though some have accused Gartner and his colleagues of violating the “Goldwater Rule,” which states that mental health professionals cannot diagnose a public figure if they have not personally examined them.

[RELATED: Psych profs call on Congress to 'end the Trump presidency']

In an interview with Jesse Watters, however, Gartner defended his group’s practices, saying that he doesn’t need to evaluate the president face-to-face.

“How do you not need to evaluate someone if you’re going to diagnose their mental health?” Watters asked, though Gartner responded by arguing that “we actually can diagnose people much more reliably by their behavior and by reports of people who know them well.”

But when Watters asked Gartner which of Trump’s friends he is relying on, he admitted that he hasn’t interviewed any, before proceeding to compare Trump to Hitler.

[RELATED: Psych profs violate ethics to accuse Trump of 'mental illness']

Some experts, though, disagree with Gartner, including Lee who has since distanced herself from the group as well as former Duke University professor Allen Frances.

“We shouldn’t be confusing bad behavior with mental illness,” Frances remarked. “When we do this, it reduces our ability to respond appropriately to bad behavior, and it stigmatizes the mentally ill.”

Similarly, not even all Democrats are on board with the plan, with retired therapist and self-described Bernie Sanders delegate, Jesse Ferguson calling Duty to Warn’s plan a “cheap shot,” and declared that the group’s members are “engaging in their own form of narcissism.”

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @KylePerisic

Thank You Mr Perisic and Campus Reform. 

Gynecomastia Risperdal Plaintiff Wins First Lawsuit Outside Philadelphia Court

Lawyers and Settlements
. By

Syracuse, NYA federal jury at the beginning of October found that Johnson & Johnson and Janssen, the Risperdal manufacturer, failed to warn about gynecomastia to doctors and patients and awarded a young man $1million.

Shaquil Byrd, a 24-year-old New Yorker, proved to a federal jury in Syracuse that Johnson & Johnson and its Janssen Pharmaceuticals subsidiary failed to provide adequate warnings of gynecomastia. Shortly after Byrd started taking Risperdal for mood disorders, at the age of nine, he developed excessive breast growth and he experienced lactation by the time he was 10. Byrd told the Times Union that his classmates teased and bullied him relentlessly. “They constantly asked me if I had milk. They did a thing called a 'scoop slam dunk' and that was when they basically cuffed my chest and slapped it down. They actually grabbed my chest.”

He had his breasts removed three years ago, but still continues to feel self-conscious. “It can really like mess up how you view yourself and how you view the world,” Byrd told WYNT News. Byrd’s attorney, Luke Malamood, accused the drug makers of hiding Risperdal's side effects from doctors. “Prescribing doctors with the best intentions aren't able to fully do their job and really consider the risks and benefits of a drug if they don't know accurately what the risks are,” said Malamood. Byrd’s lawsuit is the first outside of Philadelphia Courts that found in favor of the plaintiff. (Case No. 1:14-cv-00820)

Spokesperson for Janssen Pharmaceuticals Kelsey Buckholtz, told NYup.com that this verdict is not justified by the evidence. "Contrary to the impression the plaintiffs' attorneys have attempted to create over the course of this litigation, Risperdal is an important FDA-approved medicine that, when used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan, continues to help millions of patients with mental illnesses and neurodevelopmental conditions,” she said.

The Risperdal label was updated in October 2006 to state that 2.3 percent of male adolescents treated with the drug had developed gynecomastia. The label previously stated the condition was a rare side effect that had been seen in fewer than 1 in 1,000 patients. Byrd's attorneys argued that some of J&J’s own studies show at least 1 out of 20 children - or 4.8 percent of adolescents who take Risperdal can develop gynecomastia.
Johnson & Johnson reported $17 billion in profits on $72 billion in sales last year. Risperdal brought in sales of $3 billion a year in the early 2000s. In 2013, J&J agreed to pay $2.2 billion to settle civil and criminal charges with the Justice Department and 45 states. Justice accused the company of pushing Risperdal and two other drugs "for uses not approved as safe and effective by the FDA," including for autistic children and dementia patients, and paid "kickbacks" to doctors and pharmacy officials,” reported Philly.com(Oct. 20, 2017). The deal "allows us to move forward," the company said in 2013.
Thank You Ms Mundy and L&S.

Clinton And The Rosenbergs: Let's Dare Call It Treason

American Thinker
Daniel John Sobieski Oct 28, 2017

To some, any comparison between the Clintons and the Rosenbergs is a bridge too far, yet both gave aid and comfort to a strategic enemy, Russia, aid that enhanced the capability of America’s enemies to wage nuclear war on the United States. The Rosenbergs trafficked in the design of nuclear weapons while the Clintons trafficked in the raw material for nuclear weapons -- uranium. It is a distinction without a difference not lost on former deputy assistant to President Trump, Sebastian Gorka:
Gorka spoke during an interview with Fox commentator Sean Hannity on his show Hannity. The two discussed Secretary of State Clinton’s involvement in the 2009 U.S. decision to allow the sale of Uranium One, a Canadian mining firm with licenses to mine American uranium deposits in Kazakhstan.
“If this had happened in the 1950s there would be people up on treason charges right now,” Gorka told Hannity of the decision to allow the sale of Uranium One…

“This is equivalent to what the Rosenbergs did and those people got the chair,” Gorka said. “Think about it. Giving away nuclear capabilities to our enemies. That’s what we’re talking about.”

Gorka was referring to Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who were executed by electric chair in June 1953 after they were accused of giving top-secret nuclear weapon designs to the Soviet Union.
Indeed, let’s think about it. Just where did the uranium processed by Uranium One end up? Nuclear regulatory officials assured at least one senator, John Barrasso of Wyoming, that no uranium owned by Uranium One would leave the country with proper export license. Yet that is not what happened:
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission wrote to Mr. Barrasso assuring him that American uranium would be preserved for domestic use, regardless of who owned it.
“In order to export uranium from the United States, Uranium One Inc. or ARMZ would need to apply for and obtain a specific NRC license authorizing the export of uranium for use as reactor fuel,” the letter said…
 In Wyoming, where Uranium One equipment is scattered across his 35,000-acre ranch, John Christensen is frustrated that repeated changes in corporate ownership over the years led to French, South African, Canadian and, finally, Russian control over mining rights on his property.

“I hate to see a foreign government own mining rights here in the United States,” he said. “I don’t think that should happen.”

Mr. Christensen, 65, noted that despite assurances by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that uranium could not leave the country without Uranium One or ARMZ obtaining an export license -- which they do not have -- yellowcake from his property was routinely packed into drums and trucked off to a processing plant in Canada.
Asked about that, the commission confirmed that Uranium One has, in fact, shipped yellowcake to Canada even though it does not have an export license. Instead, the transport company doing the shipping, RSB Logistic Services, has the license. A commission spokesman said that “to the best of our knowledge” most of the uranium sent to Canada for processing was returned for use in the United States. A Uranium One spokeswoman, Donna Wichers, said 25 percent had gone to Western Europe and Japan. At the moment, with the uranium market in a downturn, nothing is being shipped from the Wyoming mines.
We in fact may have no idea how much yellowcake was exported illegally to foreign buyers and who these buyers were. They could have been representatives of rogue regimes like North Korea and Iran. Neither they nor Russia is very much interested these days in the peaceful uses of nuclear power. They are interested in building nuclear bombs and putting them on missiles pointed at the United States.

Is this treason like that committed by the Rosenbergs? If it is not, then just what would be? Certainly Democrats have a very low threshold for treason when it comes to the Trump administration:
Hillary Clinton's former running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine, said Donald Trump Jr. may have committed treason when he agreed to meet with a Russian lawyer under the pretense of getting dirt on Clinton.

"That, the investigation -- it, it's not -- nothing is proven yet. But, we're now beyond obstruction of justice in terms of what's being investigated," the Virginia Democrat told CNN Tuesday. "This is moving into perjury, false statements and even potentially treason.
Liberals have been using “treason” in sentences with “Trump” as if the two were synonyms, despite there being no evidence whatsoever proving the Trump administration colluded with Russia on anything obstructed investigations into this nonevent:
On Monday, Hillary Clinton’s former campaign manager, Robby Mook, demanded Trump’s campaign aides be “prosecuted for treason” if evidence emerges of coordination with Moscow during the recent presidential campaign.

One day later, on Tuesday, Michael Winship, senior writer for BillMoyers.com, wrote an opinion piece titled, “‘There’s a Smell of Treason in the Air’” Winship is a former senior writing fellow at the progressive advocacy group Demos, which is financed by billionaire George Soros…

The title of Winship’s article, meanwhile, comes from a quote in the Washington Post last week provided by presidential historian Douglas Brinkley, who told the newspaper, “There’s a smell of treason in the air. Imagine if J. Edgar Hoover or any other FBI director would have testified against a sitting president? It would have been a mindboggling event.”

On cue, Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) warned Friday of a “cloud of treason” hanging over the Trump administration. “The bombshell revelation that US officials have information that suggests Trump associates may have colluded with the Russians means we must pause the entire Trump agenda,” he said.
That “cloud of treason” pales in comparison with the mushroom cloud of treason that hangs over the Clintons who, like the Rosenbergs, arguably enhanced the ability of our enemies to produce nuclear weapons to be used against the United States. In this, they are no different than the Rosenbergs.
None dare call it treason? Maybe we should.

Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications. 

Thank You Mr Sobieski and American Thinker.

ObamaCare Silver Plan Premiums Up An Average of 34%

John Sexton

9:21 pm on October 26, 2017

Yesterday Avalere Health published a report on premium increases for 2018 and came up with an average 34% increase for silver plans, which are by far the most popular. A significant contributor to that increase (~14%) is President Trump’s decision to cut off cost-sharing payments to insurers. If not for that factor the rate increase would likely be closer to 20 percent.

“Plans are raising premiums in 2018 to account for market uncertainty and the federal government’s failure to pay for cost-sharing reductions,” said Caroline Pearson, senior vice president at Avalere. “These premium increases may allow insurers to remain in the market and enrollees in all regions to have access to coverage.”

Avalere produced this graph showing average premiums over the past three years plus the average price for next year broken down by plan type (bronze through platinum):

The company also predicts that prices on silver plans could go up beyond 34% if insurers who proposed rates prior to the CSR cut off are given a second chance:

States where health plans were not permitted to provide an amended or second set of rates assuming the loss of CSRs may permit health plans to refile their rates prior to 2018 open enrollment, due to the elimination of the CSR payments. In states where this occurs, it is expected that the newly updated rates will be substantially higher for the 2018 plan year.

That’s exactly what is going to happen in Maryland where insurers are being given a chance to revise their rates. From the Washington Post:

Maryland regulators have given two insurance carriers permission to substantially raise monthly premiums on some plans in a direct response to a Trump administration decision to halt certain subsidies under the Affordable Care Act.

The steep increases will raise costs by as much as 76 percent over last year for silver-level individual plans on the state exchange and come atop already approved increases for 2018.

As usual, there are all sorts of caveats here. For one, most of the people buying these plans on the exchange get subsidies which means they won’t see much of this increase (the taxpayers will). The people who will be hit hard by this are those, mostly buying off the exchange, who make too much to receive subsidies. As you can see in that chart above, the average price of a silver plan premium could jump almost $200 a month next year.

The real problem, which is mentioned in a list of factors by Avalere, is that enrollment was down this year and will probably be down again, perhaps sharply, next year. That will lead to more insurers considering dropping out of the markets. About a quarter of all counties next year are already down to one insurer and those are the counties where insurers are most likely to want to drop out. That and the shrinking size of the risk pool could lead to another round of steep premium hikes next year.

Tags: cost-sharing insurers ObamaCare Obamacare exchange premiums

Thank You Mr Sexton and Hot Air.

Friday, October 27, 2017

DNC Chair Says Electoral College Is Not A Creation Of The Constitution: (But He's a Democrat, So You Must Ignore the Actual Constitution and Believe Him)

Brent Scher
October 26, 2017 5:00 am

Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez incorrectly stated "the Electoral College is not a creation of the Constitution" during a Tuesday night speech.

"The Electoral College is not a creation of the Constitution," Perez said during a lecture at Indiana University Law School. "It doesn’t have to be there." 

[Ed; Reality begs to differ.]

The Electoral College, a mechanism for indirect election of the president created by the Founding Fathers as a compromise between smaller states and larger states, is clearly laid out in Article II of the Constitution: "Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress."

Perez has previously stated that President Donald Trump "didn’t win" last November’s election because Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, but he has never denied the fact that it is part of the Constitution.

The DNC did not respond to an inquiry into whether Perez truly thinks the "Electoral College is not a creation of the Constitution."

There are many educational resources available on the Internet that provide clear explanations of what is in the document, including many from the National Constitution Center, which was established by Congress to provide a "non-partisan … understanding of the Constitution among the American people."

"Rather than being elected directly by the people, the president is elected by members of the Electoral College, which is created by Article II, Section 1," it explains.

Following his comment, Perez went on to explain his hopes that states agree to a "national popular vote compact," in which states agree to give their allocated electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote.

"There's a national popular vote compact in which a number of states have passed a bill that says, we will allocate our vote, our electoral votes, to the person who wins the national popular vote once other states totaling 170 electoral votes do the same," Perez said. "I’m frankly proud to tell you that the first state to pass such a law was Maryland."

The main supporters of the plan put forward by Perez seem to understand it is a plan to circumvent the system created by the Constitution, not an argument that the system doesn’t exist.

Most critiques of the Electoral College, such as this one from Slate, which describes it as "a democratically indefensible anachronism that dilutes minority votes while disproportionately amplifying whites votes," also recognize that it is part of the Constitution.

"The Electoral College remains lodged in our Constitution, and this year, for the fourth time in history, it elevated to the presidency a candidate who lost the popular vote," writes Slate in its lead paragraph.

The comment from Perez came during a lecture honoring former Indiana Democratic Sen. Birch Bayh, who was accused last year of sexual assault by a writer who said Bayh groped her in the backseat of a limousine.

The DNC did not respond to an inquiry into whether Perez was aware of the allegations when he accepted the speaking opportunity.

The DNC was criticized earlier this month when it announced it would be keeping much of the money it was given by Hollywood megadonor Harvey Weinstein, who has been widely accused of rape and sexual assault.
This entry was posted in Politics and tagged DNC, Tom Perez. Bookmark the permalink.

Thank You Mr Scher and Free Beacon. 

And if there's One Thing you can always count on a Democrat for, it's having their facts right.


Thursday, October 26, 2017

20th Century Classical Music: Shostakovich Symphony 11: Stokowski Conducts the Houston Sym. Orchestra

EUGENICS WATCH: Doctors Clash Over Euthanasia For Mentally Ill

Even if you read nothing more than the Title of this one, the Piece SNARKS ITSELF.

How do you out Gilbert and Sullivan Doctors supporting KILLING PATIENTS?

And, as if we needed to say it, the headlining, first up at bat, Doctor, is a Psychiatrist.

yahoo news
GHENT, Belgium (AP) — After struggling with mental illness for years, Cornelia Geerts was so desperate to die that she asked her psychiatrist to kill her.

Her sister worried that Geerts' judgment was compromised. The 59-year-old was taking more than 20 pills a day, including antidepressants, an opioid, a tranquilizer, and two medicines often used to treat bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

Ed; Who put her On those drugs in the first place?

But about a year later, on October 7, 2014, Geerts received a lethal dose of drugs from her doctor.

"I know it was Cornelia's wish, but I said to the psychiatrist that it was a shame that someone in treatment for years could just be brought to the other side with a simple injection," said her sister, Adriana Geerts, who believes society should try harder to accommodate the mentally ill.

Cases like Geerts' reveal how difficult it can be to navigate the boundary between individual freedom and protecting vulnerable patients when it comes to euthanasia.

According to confidential documents obtained by the Associated Press, such cases have fueled a clash between leading euthanasia practitioners that suggests doctors may have failed to meet certain legal requirements in some euthanasia cases — although there is no implication that patients were killed improperly.

"there is no implication that patients were killed improperly."

If you can go there, why don't you burn them at the stake and claim it wasn't improper, because they were Witches?

Oh, wait a minute. We've already BTDT.

VIDEO: Did The FBI Use 'Unverified Information To Open Up Investigations Into American Citizens? Rep. Devin Nunes on Fox

Thank You CNS, Tucker Carlson, and FOX NEWS.

Read The accompanying Story HERE.

Ending Obamacare Subsidies Will Lower Premiums, Healthcare Experts Say


After President Donald Trump recently halted Obamacare subsidies for poor and low-income Americans, many in the media reported that the action will result in more expensive health insurance premiums for millions of consumers who are already struggling to make ends meet. This characterization, however, fails to provide key context that could actually mean lower premiums for Americans with individual health insurance plans.

According to a recent study from the Freelancers Union and Upwork, a record 36 percent of Americans now work as freelancers, meaning that they are not eligible for employer-sponsored health insurance plans offering much lower premiums for consumers. This means that roughly 57.3 million Americans — minus the number of those covered under health insurance plans offered by their spouse’s employer-sponsored plans — are required under the Affordable Care Act to obtain individualized health insurance coverage or pay a penalty.

An estimated eight in ten consumers in the individual market are eligible for taxpayer-funded health insurance plan subsidies. Trump, however, recently halted billions of dollars in health insurance subsidies, because he said they only prop up insurers.
The administration also argues that the subsidies are illegal since the funds were never appropriated by Congress.

The move will not largely affect the eight in ten Americans who are eligible for the premium subsidies, since health insurers are still required to subsidize plans for low-income consumers even without taxpayer-assistance. Trump’s move will only affect the remaining two in ten Americans on the individual market who are not eligible for subsidies because they earn too much, CNN reports.

The move by the president prompted a number of health insurance companies to request substantial premium rate increases heading into 2018. The Maryland Insurance Administration, for example, approved 33-percent average rate increases for 2018.

The Washington Post directly tied Maryland’s health insurance rate increases to Trump halting taxpayer-funded subsidies.

ABC News claimed that “cutting them will likely further roil the already unstable insurance market.”

However, the Washington Post, ABC News, and others failed to mention that while health insurers will no longer receive billions of dollars in taxpayer-funded subsidies, those same 2 in 10 consumers facing increased rates will also have more health insurance coverage options, thanks to Trump signing an executive order allowing them to purchase their coverage across state lines.

This move, according to conservative healthcare policy experts, will actually result in lower premiums.

Heritage Foundation experts Marie Fishpaw and Edmund Haislmaier called the October 12 executive order “a step in the right direction, partly because it encourages more health insurance associations, according to Fishpaw and Haislmaier:
A change of this sort could allow small businesses and the self-employed to escape Obamacare’s costly benefit mandates and access new options run by associations that they have a stake in.

It could also help more small employers offer coverage to their workers. Newly enrolled individuals could save money—up to 20 to 50 percent on the cost of their insurance—by taking advantage of the tax break for employer-provided health insurance.
Cato Institute healthcare policy expert Michael Cannon said Trump’s executive order “could save millions from ObamaCare.”
“Since the Affordable Care Act took full effect in 2014, premiums in the individual market have more than doubled. The average cumulative increase is 105 percent, equivalent to average annual increases of 19 percent. Family premiums have increased 140 percent,” Cannon wrote.

Cannon attributed the rise in premiums to Obamacare’s “hidden taxes,” which Trump’s recent executive order seeks to help consumers avoid by purchasing guaranteed renewable short-term health insurance plans that would not be subject to Obamacare’s onerous regulations.

According to Cannon:
Consumers could avoid Obamacare’s hidden taxes and low-quality coverage by purchasing relatively secure insurance that protects them against the long-term financial cost of illness, and that protects them against their premiums rising if they get sick. Premiums would be far lower than they are in the Exchanges. If the administration gets the regulations right, this change could even allow innovations that reduce the cost of health-insurance protection by a further 80 percent.
“Absent Obamacare’s health-insurance regulations, premiums would fall for the vast majority of exchange enrollees by an estimated 45-68 percent, ” Cannon wrote in a July column published by The Hill.

“It would allow insurers to reintroduce innovative products, which Obamacare effectively outlawed, that would reduce premiums a further 80 percent(!),” Cannon added.