Watch this Australian video about the measles epidemic in Wales, UK and Tony Blair's other bad decision (not Iraq, but his refusal to acknowledge his child's vaccination when reassurance was called for). More below the fold.
Sen. Kelly Ayotte voted against a bill to to expand background checks for purchasers of firearms, and Erica Lafferty, the daughter of the slain principal from Sandy Hook Elementary School, wanted to know why.NBC Latino:
Lafferty got her chance at a town hall meeting Tuesday.
“You had mentioned that the burden to owners of gun stores that these expanded background checks would cause,” Lafferty said. “I’m just wondering why the burden of my mother being gunned down in the hall of her elementary school isn’t as important as that?”
Dr. Raul Arguello, a father of two of the lucky children who survived the Sandy Hook school shooting in December, traveled from his Connecticut to Washington, D.C. this Sunday to represent the United Physicians of Newtown at The American Academy of Pediatrics 2013 Legislative Conference. The purpose of the conference is for pediatricians to learn advocacy skills, state and federal policy priorities impacting child health, including poverty, and to hear from federal officials.Raul is a friend and colleague, and a fellow member of United Physicians of Newtown.
However, Tuesday, a group of more than 110 pediatricians, from across the country, will also convene on Capitol Hill to discuss an issue critical to them — gun violence prevention and keeping children safe.
“The attendees are so passionate,” says Dr. Arguello, a pediatrician from Danbury Hospital, who is equally impassioned. “I’m going to meet with my congressmen, and legislatures, and represent the 90 percent that want background checks [on guns].”
Dr. Arguello says gun legislation has been a discussion for more than 30 years. Nothing has been done, and since then, the number of mass murders have increased.
“What happened in Newtown was horrendous,” he says. “If we can actually send the message that we care for the kids, and every life counts, that would be a humongous success. The status quo is unacceptable.”
Satire or not, Politico notes an endorsement I'm sure Mark Sanford would love to send back.
Larry Flynt backs ‘sex pioneer’ Mark SanfordMore politics and policy below the fold.
“I’m endorsing Mark Sanford for U.S. Congress because no one has done more to expose the sexual hypocrisy of traditional values in America today,” Larry Flynt of Hustler said in an endorsement posted Tuesday on YouTube. “Mark Sanford has demonstrated by his words and deeds that traditional values are shameful and that he will not live by such rules. His open embrace of his mistress in the name of love, breaking his sacred marriage vows, was an act of bravery that has drawn my support.”
WaPo has more on Kelly Ayotte's difficult week:
Back home this week for a series of town hall meetings, Ayotte is facing new constituent anger and a coordinated effort by those gun-control groups to turn her vote into a political liability. These organizations include Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the group founded by New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg (I), and the liberal think tank Center for American Progress. Other groups are deploying organizers to New Hampshire, Arizona, Arkansas, Nevada and North Dakota in hopes of shaming moderate senators of both parties who voted against the background-check plan.Greg Sargent:
In New Hampshire, the national organizations are partnering with local groups that plan to follow her across the state...
“Almost nine in ten (88%) of New Hampshire adults strongly favor this [background check] proposal, 6% favor it somewhat, and only 5% oppose it. Even 83% of gun owners favor this proposal,” according to a WMUR Granite State Poll conducted in February.
At today’s press conference, President Obama spent a fair amount of time pushing back on what some of us are calling the “Green Lantern Theory of Presidential Power.” This theory — which seems to hold broad sway over many in the press — holds that presidents should be able to bend Congress to their will, and any failure to do so proves their weakness and perhaps even their irrelevance.The political press, outside of people like Mann And Ornstein, seem completely incapable of expressing that the Congressional Republicans are as radical (and batshit crazy) as they are. But they don't need to tell us. We already know from seeing them in action.
What accounts for the persistence of this theory? The answer, I think, lies in the tendency of reporters and analysts who are trying to remain a neutral, nonpartisan posture to feel comfortable making process judgments, but not ideological ones.
The UK moves to fix a hole in their flu planning:
Under plans to reduce outbreaks of disease, the Government will offer millions more vaccinations at a cost of more than £100 million.But the UK has another disease-related vax problem: measles.
The Department of Health is planning to give a flu vaccination to every two-year-old via nasal spray from this year, with a national roll-out for all school children to follow. It has brought forward the programme to this autumn, making the UK the first country to offer the flu vaccine to healthy children free of charge.
Around 650,000 toddlers will be protected in the first year, while all primary and secondary school children will start get the spray from 2015.
The number of cases in the Swansea measles epidemic has topped the 1,000 mark.This is still fallout from Andrew Wakefield's disastrous career, which caused people to shun the measles vaccine for fear of autism. See Measles Epidemic in Wales Has Roots in Antivax Movement:
Public Health Wales says the figure now stands at 1,011 but added that about 5,000 youngsters in the area aged between 10 and 18 still need vaccinating.
A vaccination programme has been running in schools and hospitals with 4,000 receiving the MMR jab in the last month alone.
The outbreak started last November.
A total of 84 people have been treated in hospital since it began while a post-mortem examination into the death of a man who died while suffering from measles proved inconclusive.
Wales has had low Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR) vaccination rates for some time … since about 1998, in fact, when Andrew Wakefield published his bogus study in the Lancet falsely linking the MMR vaccine to autism.There are real public health consequences for avoiding vaccines. You know who you are. I'm sure you have your reasons. Just be aware of what results that decision can bring.