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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.

Politico:

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.

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?”

NBC Latino:
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.

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.”

Raul is a friend and colleague, and a fellow member of United Physicians of Newtown.

Satire or not, Politico notes an endorsement I'm sure Mark Sanford would love to send back.

Larry Flynt backs ‘sex pioneer’ Mark Sanford

“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.”

More politics and policy below the fold.

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.

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.

Greg Sargent:
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.

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 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.

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.

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.

But the UK has another disease-related vax problem: measles.
The number of cases in the Swansea measles epidemic has topped the 1,000 mark.

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.

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:
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.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed May 01, 2013 at 04:30 AM PDT.

Also republished by Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA) and Shut Down the NRA.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Im not crazy about Larry Flynt, (20+ / 0-)

    but that comment is perfectly tuned to explode conservative heads.

    Early to rise and early to bed Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and dead. --Not Benjamin Franklin

    by Boundegar on Wed May 01, 2013 at 04:41:19 AM PDT

  •  Larry Flynt (10+ / 0-)

    just cracks me up.  That should help Mark Sanford in good old South Carolina!

    As for the wacko anti-vaxxers and the disaster they are causing for public health, well, don't even get me started.  Measles epidemics in the developed world (or anywhere, really) is a thing that Should Not Be Happening.

    But now we'll have to go through litigating it again in dKos comments. Sigh.

    Also, I hope Ayotte is out on her ass for that vote.  What was it Sarah Palin said about crosshairs?

    “I wore black because ... it's still my symbol of rebellion -- against a stagnant status quo, against our hypocritical houses of God, against people whose minds are closed to others' ideas.” -- Johnny Cash

    by RocketJSquirrel on Wed May 01, 2013 at 04:43:23 AM PDT

  •  This Green Lantern theory (20+ / 0-)
    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
    also holds sway among progressives.  I've read it here on a daily basis, no matter the issue.

    "Why reasonable people go stark raving mad when anything involving a Negro comes up, is something I don’t pretend to understand." ~ Atticus Finch, "To Kill a Mockingbird"

    by SottoVoce on Wed May 01, 2013 at 04:50:45 AM PDT

    •  The truth is that no politician should serve (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Orinoco

      more than 1 term.

      Take the trash out regularly and we can maybe get somewhere.

      Currently the septic tank is full.

      •  are you speaking of the President? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PsychoSavannah, ratcityreprobate

        "Why reasonable people go stark raving mad when anything involving a Negro comes up, is something I don’t pretend to understand." ~ Atticus Finch, "To Kill a Mockingbird"

        by SottoVoce on Wed May 01, 2013 at 05:25:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  EVERY politician. (0+ / 0-)

          Top to bottom.

          •  Term limits (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            WakeUpNeo

            are an abject failure in California.  The rapid turnover of elected officials simply turns even more power over to the lobbyists.

            Better to let the sunshine in on who is giving money thru PACs, etc., and corporate accountability for their political contributions via shareholder disclosure.

            The most violent element in society is ignorance.

            by Mr MadAsHell on Wed May 01, 2013 at 08:47:41 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Lobbyists are another loose cannon (0+ / 0-)

              Voting isn't going to fix jack fucking shit anymore, as long as we have the same sociopathic and incompetent sorts to choose from. Who cares if 1 in 20 politicians is a decent human being - the system is clogged with shit and people celebrate this.

              It seems we are not to have any proper control, and, again, voting has FAILED to give us that.

              The situation we have was VOTED into place.

          •  While many politicians fit this bill (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            WakeUpNeo
            Take the trash out regularly .... Currently the septic tank is full
            others do not.  I am not eager to see Kirsten Gillibrand (my Senator) or Paul Tonko (my Congressman) replaced by lesser lights.  I don't consider President Obama, for all his misplaced policies, to be the equivalent of sewage.

            Also, "throw the bums out" is what led to the disastrous 2010 Tea Party rout of state houses and the terrible policies that followed for Michigan, Wisconsin, Florida, Ohio, etc.  

            I think if you follow back the source of the problem, it all hinges on a MAJOR overhaul of campaign finance reform, shutting down the spigot of real sewage (secret money and corporate money and money from private manipulators), and slamming the door that leads from a career as a Congressman to a career as a lobbyist.  I think, minus that money, you'd see Congresspeople who are not devoted public servants term limiting themselves out of that job pretty quick.

            "Why reasonable people go stark raving mad when anything involving a Negro comes up, is something I don’t pretend to understand." ~ Atticus Finch, "To Kill a Mockingbird"

            by SottoVoce on Wed May 01, 2013 at 02:03:33 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Term limits are silly (6+ / 0-)

        If you don't like who is on office, vote them out.
         

        “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

        by skohayes on Wed May 01, 2013 at 05:49:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  If politicians are limited to one term (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KMc, Mr MadAsHell, Mistral Wind, WakeUpNeo

        then the shop will be run by either

        1) unelected bureaucrats
        2) politicians unelected staff moving on to the next office holder
        3) unelected lobbyists

        We already see quite a bit of all three situations, because some of our elected politicians, no matter how many terms, don't seem to be interested in governing or legislating, but rather continue fund-raising,  campaigning, grandstanding or fluffing their own egos while in office.

        While there are exceptions, most elected officials spend quite a bit of their first term learning the ropes.

        "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government are incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

        by Orinoco on Wed May 01, 2013 at 08:07:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  We have to cut deadwood from the system (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Orinoco

          It is that protection of useless politicians that has helped create the needless bullshit we experience now.

          I have zero love for the political system and see it as the problem.

          •  We do need to cut the deadwood. (0+ / 0-)

            I completely agree. (Actually, I'd rather we not elect deadwood in the first place, but that's another issue.)

            And I would be in favor of recall elections when it turns out elected pols lied about their agenda when they campaigned. Or maybe annual "votes of confidence" or some other mechanism to trigger a new election rather than wait for the next scheduled throw the bums out session.

            I'd also be in favor of getting Big Money out of politics through federal financing of elections from President right down to dogcatcher, with automatic expulsion from office as the penalty for taking any outside money from anyone.

            I just think term limits won't help get rid of the needless bullshit caused by low information voters and our institutionalized system of bribery called campaign finance, revolving door hiring and the wingnut welfare system.

            "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government are incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

            by Orinoco on Wed May 01, 2013 at 11:11:35 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  I'd call Mark Sandford a pioneer, period. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Powered Grace, judyms9, Stude Dude

    He is the only man alive to have located the device along the Appalachian Trail that transports one to Buenos Aires!

    Geez...

    As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

    by JaxDem on Wed May 01, 2013 at 04:52:21 AM PDT

  •  The vaccine debate is the epitome of what is wrong (12+ / 0-)

    with the press and our politicians. Blair was a political coward at best. Science should be our friend not our enemy.

  •  ... (0+ / 0-)
    Post-ABC poll: Large majorities of Democrats and Republicans support death penalty for Tsarnaev if convicted http://t.co/...
    @postpolls via HootSuite

    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

    by Greg Dworkin on Wed May 01, 2013 at 04:55:19 AM PDT

  •  Lots of "burdens" this week. (6+ / 0-)

    Between the gun store owners apparently being incapable of logging into a database and the internet sellers being incapable of plugging into a piece of tax software, I feel like we're back in the '50s.

    "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

    by Bush Bites on Wed May 01, 2013 at 04:58:04 AM PDT

    •  If only.... Back in the '50's we didn't worry (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Stude Dude

      about gun violence much.  It was being knifed that was scary.  Lots of disputes were settled with fist fights, some even refereed by school coaches.  That kind of thing came to be considered too violent for our dainty culture so we moved on to expressing ourselves with lethal weapons, delusional swagger and that mightiest of all displays of manhood--chickenhawkism, which has risen at the same rate as the US love affair with firearms.    

      Building a better America with activism, cooperation, ingenuity and snacks.

      by judyms9 on Wed May 01, 2013 at 05:27:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I noticed that too (3+ / 0-)

      This election we (re) covered several of the settled issues where we thought battles were won in the 60s: civil rights, voting rights, reproductive rights, women's rights, legitimate rape, and more.  

    •  No shit (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Stude Dude

      and the burden of people having to stand in line at the County offices to get their concealed carry licenses - that was the lead story on my local news last night. This days after a 3 year accidentally shot her infant brother in the SAME damn county.

      Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up. A. A. Milne

      by hulibow on Wed May 01, 2013 at 06:46:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Q poll (3+ / 0-)
    Eighteen months before the 2014 elections, American voters, by a slim margin, say they are more likely to vote Democratic than Republican for Congress, which would violate the historical model of the president's party losing ground in the sixth year of a presidency, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

    If elections for Congress were held today, 41 percent of voters say they would vote Democratic for Congress and 37 percent say they would vote Republican, continuing a trend that began after an April 19, 2012, survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University showing Democrats at 40 percent and Republicans at 39 percent.

    By small margins, voters trust Democrats on Capitol Hill more than Republicans to handle health care, while they prefer the Republicans on the budget deficit and gun policy, and they see the two about the same on the economy and immigration.

    http://www.quinnipiac.edu/...

    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

    by Greg Dworkin on Wed May 01, 2013 at 05:01:31 AM PDT

    •  They prefer Repubs on gun policy? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      murrayewv, Miggles

      Ugh.

      "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

      by Bush Bites on Wed May 01, 2013 at 05:07:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Voters trust the Republicans on (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ratcityreprobate, a2nite

      the budget deficit?  Why is that question even being asked?  The most important question would have been "Which party is doing more to create jobs?"  The closest the poll came to asking this most vital question was the approval/disapproval rate of how congress was doing its job.  Asked regarding both Republicans and Democrats in congress, both parties' approval rates were pitiful:

      Approval/Disapproval of how congressional Republicans were doing their job: 24/67 percent.

      Approval/Disapproval of how congressional Democrats were doing their job:  31/60 percent.

      Since Obama's overall Approval/Disapproval rate was 48/45 percent, maybe the voters are catching on that failure to address the country's economic problems is a failure of congress, not the president.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Wed May 01, 2013 at 06:07:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  David Vitter demands a recount! (3+ / 0-)

    So does Newt Gingrich, Larry Craig and John Ensign!

    "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

    by Bush Bites on Wed May 01, 2013 at 05:02:17 AM PDT

  •  SciAm Gun Science Article (9+ / 0-)

    Another excellent article (penned by Michael Shermer) on gun owner stats in the current issue of Scientific American (guns don't kill, gun ownership kills): http://www.scientificamerican.com/...

  •  good piece on Wakefiled (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JayC, skohayes, a2nite, WakeUpNeo
    Andrew Wakefield: Don’t try to blame me for the results of what I said and did
    http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/...

    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

    by Greg Dworkin on Wed May 01, 2013 at 05:10:06 AM PDT

  •  Lou Dobbs is lead anchor on (7+ / 0-)

    Fox Business news.  On his show yesterday he called the flaws identified in the seminal paper of Ken Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart, used as the cornerstone "evidence" the Republicans and some Democrats cite to justify their insistence on austerity in the federal budget, a "small mistake."  The calculation error found in the paper may have been a small mistake, but that mistake resulted in massive errors in the conclusions the study reached.  The larger mistake the authors made was the bias evident in the data that was used for those calculations, which pretty much invalidated the paper's central point.

    To make things worse, his special guest for the day was Arthur Laffer, the economist made famous for convincing Ronald Reagan that his "Laffer Curve," a theory foundational to supply-side economics, would bring prosperity back to the nation by drastically cutting in half the top marginal income tax rates.

    Over the past thirty-five years, between politicians of both parties' acceptance of the Laffer Curve and the Rogoff/Reinhart conclusions, our economy has become a shambles for the middle class a mortal threat to the poor.

    Media Matters has the story and a couple of videos from Dobbs' show.

    "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

    by SueDe on Wed May 01, 2013 at 05:48:19 AM PDT

    •  Dobbs was always a crank. (4+ / 0-)

      I think CNN kept a collar on him until the end, like they did their best to control Beck.

      Once the cranks slip their leashes, they go to Fox.

      "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

      by Bush Bites on Wed May 01, 2013 at 05:56:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Who says it was a "mistake"? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Stude Dude, ratcityreprobate, celdd

      A process of discovery, based on an investigation that Harvard owes all of us, might discover emails that could tell us about mistakes and such. It is quite common in analyzing data to look at it from various angles and highlight the ones that look best, while still reporting all the others. These authors did none of that.  

      Without a closer examination, I see little reason to assume their selective omission of data and their odd weighting of data were mistakes. I would not suggest scientific misconduct without more evidence, but I think the entire world deserves to see more evidence. When you have a sample size as small as theirs, it's really hard for me to imagine that no one noticed that a significant chunk of the sample was missing.

      •  Some of the economists reviewing the (0+ / 0-)

        paper did indeed notice that the sample was skewed, but no one who agreed with the paper's conclusions mentioned it.  Two days after it was released, both Paul Krugman and Brad DeLong took exception to the data used - specifically the years omitted from consideration in arriving at the result - and the flawed analysis of the years following WWII.  But nobody was paying attention to either of them three years ago.

        "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

        by SueDe on Wed May 01, 2013 at 10:18:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Republicans in disarray over health care (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    One Opinion, Mr MadAsHell, a2nite

    from Ross Douthat, of all people:

    That gap between conservative policy wonks and G.O.P. politicians has been with us for some time, but last week supplied a particularly stark reminder of its existence. Nearly all of the plausible conservative blueprints for reform involve increased funding for high-risk pools where people with pre-existing conditions can purchase insurance, as an alternative to regulations requiring that insurers cover all applicants regardless of their health status. These pools exist under Obamacare as well, but they’re purely transitional and deeply underfunded — and this underfunding provided an opportunity that Eric Cantor and the House Republican leadership tried to exploit last week, with a bill that would have shifted $3.6 billion in money that’s basically being used as the Health and Human Services Department’s discretionary fund into the federal high-risk pool instead.

    Instead, the bill died because, well, too many House Republicans didn’t want to vote for it.

    And a comment from Ben Domenech on the House "conservatives":
    As they tend to do, however, fiscal conservatives split on Cantor effort. It was opposed by the Heritage Foundation, the Club for Growth, and “Tea Party leader” Brent Bozell. Redstate announced it would be scoring the vote … They described the step, in insulting fashion to anyone who understands the policy involved, as an Obamacare “fix” …

    This type of strategic idiocy has been the mark of conservatives throughout the process of Obamacare’s passage and implementation, so expecting them to be smarter now is probably too much to ask. Whatever the motives of the conservatives who opposed this measure, they have accomplished the following ultimate goal: they’ve made leadership less likely to take up any possible wedge legislation on implementation; they’ve missed an opportunity to bolster the argument that Republicans care about pre-existing conditions; and, most importantly, they’ve made it easier for Sebelius to implement the law …

    http://douthat.blogs.nytimes.com/...

    “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

    by skohayes on Wed May 01, 2013 at 06:10:25 AM PDT

  •  Go pediatricians. (3+ / 0-)
    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.

    Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up. A. A. Milne

    by hulibow on Wed May 01, 2013 at 06:48:04 AM PDT

  •  Luv ya Kell... (0+ / 0-)

    Just you and us babe. Don't listen to all those jerks that would try to tear us apart. We belong together baby. It was written in the stars.

    NRA ♥♥♥♥ Kelly A.
    Kelly A. ♥♥♥♥ NRA

    For EVAHHHH.....

    SWAK

    The NRA

  •  Anti Vaccine = Pro Stupid. (0+ / 0-)

    What the hell is it with people and these dumb-ass conspiracy theories?

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