Congress

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Category archives for Congress

Franken-sense: it’s about time

Al Franken may have made his name as a comedian on Saturday Night Live, but as a Senator (D-MN) he’s a force to reckon with. In this clip from hearings this week he nails a witness from the right wing Hudson Institute pimping for the health care industry. Her claim? That health care reform would…

The ass is Grassley

We’ve said both nice things and not so nice things about Finance Committee ranking Republican on health care, Chuck Grassley (R-IA), most recently not-so-nice things. Things like calling him morally corrupt, a liar and a gold-plated hypocrite. Things like that. We know he hears us because his office complained to a colleague about it. Now,…

Chuck Grassley’s feet of clay

We’ve been rather kind to Senator Charles (Chuck) Grassley in the past. Yes, he’s a right wing Republican with some really odious ideas, ideas for which he deserves to be criticized. But he’s also been a champion of the Federal False Claims Act which has encouraged and protected whistleblowers to reveal how corporations have taken…

The National Pork Producers Council didn’t like swine flu being called swine flu. Bad for business. So we now call it 2009 H1N1 or some such thing. It’s totally swine-origin, but hey, if Lord Agribusiness doesn’t like it, that’s that. Same thing with antibiotic resistant bacteria, like methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (“MRSA”; best source on…

Ethics sting in Big Pharma country

As an academic epidemiologist I routinely do NIH funded research involving human subjects. That means my university must adhere to very strict regulations and guidelines for the protection of research subjects. Approval and monitoring of the ethical conduct of research funded by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), of which NIH is a…

Tufts University is the latest institution to step in the Conflict of Interest mess and come out with shoes that smell. The University had organized a conference on conflict of interest in medicine and research, with Iowa’s Republican Senator Charles Grassley as the keynoter. Grassley has been an indefatigable crusader against instances of fraud and…

The Supreme Court ruled yesterday that if the FDA approves a drug, it doesn’t mean you don’t have to keep the labeling up to date if you should warn people. So that settles one question about FDA approval. The FDA put its stamp of approval on the drug Vioxx, too, but approved or not, Vioxx…

Keeping the spotlight on public health

Keeping public health in the spot light is critical and what better place to do it than the front page of DailyKos, one of the most visited blogs in the world (average daily visits over 800,000). For six weeks DKos frontpager DemFromCT, one of the founders of FluWiki and himself a pulmonary specialist, has been…

Dems dump Dirty Air Dingell

John Dingell (D-MI), longtime Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has done some good things in his time, but overall he’s been a net minus. When Henry Waxman (D-CA) toppled him from his perch today my feeling was an uncharitable, Good Riddance. The vote in the Democratic Party caucus was close but not…

About a month ago (March 1, 2008) we brought you the story of how a highly reputable and knowledgeable scientist, Dr. Deborah Rice of the Maine Department of Maine Department of Health and Human Services, was bonced off of an EPA scientific advisory committee because the chemical industry trade group, the American Chemistry Council (ACC),…