Thanks, Ian Bremmer
❝ In 2017, a 69-year-old man with pancreatic cancer went to hospital with abnormally low blood pressure. Sadly, he died only two days later, and his remains were cremated.
What nobody at the hospital or the crematorium knew, was that this hadn’t been the man’s only recent trip to hospital.
Just one day earlier, in fact, he had been injected with a radioactive compound at another hospital to treat his tumour – and when his mortal remains were incinerated, this radioactive and potentially dangerous dose of lutetium Lu 177 dotatate was still inside his body.
❝ This alarming case, reported in a new research letter this week, illustrates the collateral risks potentially posed by on average 18.6 million nuclear medicine procedures involving radiopharmaceuticals performed in the US every year.
❝ While rules regulate how these drugs are administered to living patients, the picture can become less clear when those patients die, thanks to a patchwork of different laws and standards in each state – not to mention situations like the 69-year-old man, whose radioactive status simply slipped through the cracks.
Phew! Gotta love states’ rights when the primary function only seems to be dividing the spoils for folks avoiding federal regulation for one reason or another. Or is it just our elected representatives doing as little as possible.
❝ According to the Pentagon’s in-house watchdog, the replacement for the U.S. military’s Humvee is in serious trouble.
The new Joint Tactical Light Vehicle (JLTV) is “not operationally suitable” because of deficiencies in “reliability, maintainability, training, manuals, crew situational awareness, and safety,” a new report says. The vehicle is so bug-ridden that it requires contractors in the field to fix problems, and is so large and loud that it’s easily detectable on the battlefield…
❝ …All four vehicle types are encountering mechanical problems during field trials including, “engine wiring problems, flat and damaged tires…A “health monitoring system” designed to bring problems to the attention of maintainers is not accurate and “reduces crew and maintainer confidence in the system.” One last mechanical problem: The doors on some vehicles didn’t work.
❝ The vehicles are faulted for having a “large visual and loud aural signature, increasing detectability…troops riding inside have poor visibility and that the TOW anti-tank missile launcher, capable of destroying tanks to ranges of up to 2.48 miles, is slow and difficult to reload…the vehicles are so large fewer of them can fit on the military’s Maritime Prepositioned Force ships, cargo ships that carry floating arsenals of Army and Marine Corps equipment, ready to link up with ground troops and quickly enter battle.
RTFA for ever more silliness. How many years has our military spent designing their own vehicles – which suck? Do they ever learn how to make doors work the first time?
❝ Executives from seven drugmakers laid out their ideas for lowering drug prices to the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday. One idea was noticeably absent: lowering drug prices.
❝ The companies — AbbVie, AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Pfizer and Sanofi — threw their support behind a number of Trump administration proposals and pitched some of their own ideas in written testimony submitted ahead of the hearing. Executives championed the investments their companies make and the lives they save, while acknowledging patients cannot benefit if they can’t afford medication…
❝ But none of the seven drugmakers committed to, or even suggested, lowering the price of their drugs…
RTFA if you feel the need to read the sort of specious rationales you would expect from corporate royalty. You might wish to send a message to your Congress-critter to take the side of working families, ordinary Americans, instead of these high-priced pimps.
“Penfield, Greene County, Georgia. Canned goods made by Doc and Julia Miller, Negro FSA clients.” Medium format negative by Jack Delano for the Farm Security Administration
Alessandra Benedetti – Corbis/Getty
❝ The Vatican’s Swiss Guard soldiers are receiving a high-tech uniform update: Their traditional metal helmets will be replaced with 3D-printed helmets this year.
Since 1914, the Swiss Guard soldiers have worn vibrant dress uniforms inspired by Renaissance-era artwork, The Verge reported. However, the soldiers have to wear metal helmets (morions), which could become uncomfortably hot and cause burns. Last year, the Swiss Guard decided that it was time to upgrade soldiers’ iconic helmets with 3D-printed ones that were more lightweight and comfortable.
The times they are a-changing…
❝ In May 2017, dozens of Americans came forward with claims that their identities had been used, without their consent, in a campaign to inundate the Federal Communications Commission with public comments critical of the Obama-era policy. Some told reporters that they’d never heard of net neutrality. Twenty seven signed an open letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai demanding a response. A year on, each of their names and addresses are still displayed on the federal agency’s website, right above, as the letter puts it, “a political statement that we did not sign onto.”
❝ What was most curious, however, is that each of these people had supposedly submitted the very same comment; a veritable word salad of telecom industry talking points. In particular, the comment was a rebuke of the Obama administration’s exercise of “unprecedented regulatory power” in pursuit of net neutrality, a policy which it accused of “smothering innovation, damaging the American economy, and obstructing job creation…”
❝ Last week, the GSA turned over the API logs in response to a records request from a reporter who had sued it and the FCC to pry them loose…
On review, they are the same records that the FCC refused to provide the New York attorney general’s office in December 2017, while claiming the state’s chief legal officer had no authority “to investigate a federal agency’s rulemaking process,” or otherwise compel the production of any materials…
RTFA. It is worth a detailed careful read. The interplay between conservative publishers, lobbyists, Roger Stone, a magic batch of 9+ million signatures appearing – from folks who never signed on to opposing Net Neutrality.
We don’t need foreign governments to be convinced of illicit political campaigns hacking their way through our diminished democracy. Conservative creeps with no shortage of dollar signs are working hard as they can to expand their abuse of democracy and responsible governance.