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Archive for March 13th, 2011

NFL Players Close Union, Fight Lockout

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 13th, 2011 4:39 am by HL

NFL Players Close Union, Fight Lockout
The NFL Players Association decertified as a union, a move that clears the way for individual players to file antitrust lawsuits against the league. A group of players that included three of the NFL’s most popular quarterbacks — Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees — filed an antitrust lawsuit against the league in U.S. District Court to prevent a lockout.



Late Late Night FDL: Make Mine Music Founding Members

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 13th, 2011 4:38 am by HL

Late Late Night FDL: Make Mine Music Founding Members
Professor Ludwig Von Drake starring in Make Mine Music. Tonight’s cartoon was first aired on January 30, 1966 on Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color. What is Late Late Night FDL and more…

Professor Ludwig Von Drake starring in Make Mine Music.   Tonight’s cartoon first aired on January 30, 1966 on Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color as the multi-part cartoon Music For Everybody and includes a previously released musical segment from the 1946 feature length animated film also titled Music For Everybody featuring animation choreographed to various musical styles.  Tonight’s video features After You’ve Gone by the Benny Goodman Quartet (Benny Goodman, Sid Weiss, Teddy Wilson, Cozy Cole).

What is Late Late Night FDL?  The featured video is usually music, except for Saturday nights when we enjoy cartoons of yesteryear, and off topic is always the topic. Late Late Night FDL has become the place to let your hair down after reading and commenting on all the news of the day featured at Firedoglake and the sister blogs – tis where we celebrate (oy do we love to celebrate) joyous occasions and sympathize and offer support when there is bad news.  I like to think of LLN as being a neutral place at FDL, where every night we can put aside our various disagreements on the issues of the day and focus on the things we have in common.  We have strengthened our online relationships with other commenters here — knowing that we can disagree during the day and still enjoy the camaraderie of our community here on the dark side of the lake.

All of this is possible because Jane created Firedoglake and provides the servers, tech support, moderators, writers, and a host of other services that allow us to have Late Late Night FDL.  That all takes money and is why I am asking you to become a Founding Member during our Membership Drive.  If you have already done so, thank you, thank you, thank you.  If you hesitated to join due to any concerns, please bring those concerns up in the comments and I’ll try to answer them.  If I don’t have the answer, I will refer you to someone who does.  If you want to offer a scholarship for someone who wishes to be a member but is unable due to financial issues, please let me know in the comments and I will give you a thank you dive in return (like I did Thursday during Pouting Baby’s Late Night post).

Here’s the link to join Firedoglake.  If you join during tonight’s thread, I’ll give you a thank you dive in return.

Grab your popcorn, put your feet up on the coffee table, and try to keep the spitballs off the screen please. This is Late Late Night FireDogLake, where off topic is the topic … so dive in. What’s on your mind?


Japan’s Day After

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 13th, 2011 4:37 am by HL

Japan’s Day After
Strong aftershocks kept Japan on edge Saturday, a day after a devastating earthquake and tidal waves battered the country’s northeastern coast. Officials estimated the death toll at 1,700, but thousands more are missing.  —JCL The Guardian: 4.50 pm: Here’s a late afternoon round-up of events on Saturday in Japan, following the earthquake and tsunami that have devastated the eastern side of the country. • There has been an explosion at the Fukushima No 1 nuclear power plant in north-eastern Japan, close to the epicentre of the quake. Officials say the blast is not a meltdown and radiation levels were low because the explosion had not affected the reactor core container. • Tens of thousands of people in the areas surrounding Fukushima No 1 and No 2 plants have been urged to evacuate. • Dozens of aftershocks, some as strong as magnitude 6, struck Japan on Saturday. Japan’s state broadcaster has warned people in coastal areas that there could be further tsunamis. Read more

Strong aftershocks kept Japan on edge Saturday, a day after a devastating earthquake and tidal waves battered the country’s northeastern coast. Officials estimated the death toll at 1,700, but thousands more are missing.? —JCL

The Guardian:

4.50 pm: Here’s a late afternoon round-up of events on Saturday in Japan, following the earthquake and tsunami that have devastated the eastern side of the country.

• There has been an explosion at the Fukushima No 1 nuclear power plant in north-eastern Japan, close to the epicentre of the quake. Officials say the blast is not a meltdown and radiation levels were low because the explosion had not affected the reactor core container.

• Tens of thousands of people in the areas surrounding Fukushima No 1 and No 2 plants have been urged to evacuate.

• Dozens of aftershocks, some as strong as magnitude 6, struck Japan on Saturday. Japan’s state broadcaster has warned people in coastal areas that there could be further tsunamis.

Read more

Related Entries


South Sudan Battles Rebels
New fighting erupted in Sudan’s recently declared autonomous southern half when rebel forces staged an attack on the city of Malakal. The battle comes as South Sudan counts down to its official secession on July 9.  —JCL Al-Jazeera English: Rebel fighters have attacked the capital of South Sudan’s Upper Nile state, the southern army has said. The number of casualties is not known, but the attack on Saturday in Malakal, one of the south’s three main settlements, marked an escalation in a wave of clashes between the south’s army and rebel fighters. The fighting has raised fears over the stability of the region in the countdown to its secession—due on July 9. Read more

New fighting erupted in Sudan’s recently declared autonomous southern half when rebel forces staged an attack on the city of Malakal. The battle comes as South Sudan counts down to its official secession on July 9.? —JCL

Al-Jazeera English:

Rebel fighters have attacked the capital of South Sudan’s Upper Nile state, the southern army has said.

The number of casualties is not known, but the attack on Saturday in Malakal, one of the south’s three main settlements, marked an escalation in a wave of clashes between the south’s army and rebel fighters.

The fighting has raised fears over the stability of the region in the countdown to its secession—due on July 9.

Read more

Related Entries



McCain 2008 Campaign Chief On How Palin Made The ‘Short List’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 13th, 2011 4:36 am by HL

McCain 2008 Campaign Chief On How Palin Made The ‘Short List’
In a profile of the man who was responsible for vetting a running mate for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) during the 2008 presidential campaign, the…

Wisconsin Protesters Refuse To Quit
MADISON, Wis. — Clogging the Wisconsin Capitol grounds and screaming angry chants, tens of thousands of undaunted pro-labor protesters descended on Madison again Saturday and…

Rep. Chaka Fattah: America Is a Bastion of Hope Not a Beacon of Nope!
House Republicans have taken another pound-foolish step by voting to axe a program that provides a lifeline for middle-class homeowners who face foreclosure through no fault of their own.

Obama Shies Away From Union Protests
WASHINGTON — Union leaders urged Vice President Joe Biden during a White House meeting last month to go to Wisconsin and rally the faithful in…


The Tattlesnake – Defending Charlie Sheen Edition

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 13th, 2011 4:35 am by HL

The Tattlesnake – Defending Charlie Sheen Edition
Is it crazy to stand up to corporations and media parasites that are trying to tell you how to live your life? Charlie Sheen’s gotten a bum rap from the media lately because he refused to play the corporate and tabloid-TV game: the Shamed Celebrity is supposed to enter rehab and emerge contrite and chastened and […]


Pharmaceutical Company Hiking Price Of Drug That Prevents Premature Births From $10 to $1,500

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 13th, 2011 4:34 am by HL

Pharmaceutical Company Hiking Price Of Drug That Prevents Premature Births From $10 to $1,500

Next week, the cost of preventing premature childbirth will skyrocket when a drug given to high-risk pregnant women goes from around $10 a dose to $1,500 a dose. The drug, called Makena, which has been made cheaply for years and is given as a weekly shot, could make the total cost during a pregnancy as much as $30,000. Why? Because KV Pharmaceutical of St. Louis recently won FDA approval to exclusively sell Makena last month.

By receiving “orphan drug status,” KV’s subsidiary Ther-RX Corp. will now be “the sole source of the drug for seven years.” In justifying the 14,900 percent price hike, KV Pharmaceuticals says that pregnant women will be willing to pay the new price because if they don’t, they could have a premature baby, or “preemie,” which could cost much much more:

The cost is justified to avoid the mental and physical disabilities that can come with very premature births, said KV Pharmaceutical chief executive Gregory J. Divis Jr. The cost of care for a preemie is estimated at $51,000 in the first year alone.

“Makena can help offset some of those costs,” Divis told The Associated Press. “These moms deserve the opportunity to have the benefits of an FDA-approved Makena.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is not involved in setting the price for the drugs it approves.

The question, however, is not whether high-risk pregnant women would elect to offset further cost by using the drug, but whether they can afford the elevated price in the first place. The issue, doctors say, is that “the price hike may deter low-income women from getting the drug, leading to more premature births.” “That’s a huge increase for something that can’t be costing them that much to make,” said Massachusetts’s Medicaid deputy medical director Dr. Roger Snow. “For crying out loud, this is about making money,” he added. Ther-RX launched a patient assistance program Tuesday to help alleviate the cost for some women.

What’s more, KV is seeking to prevent other pharmaceutical companies from producing a cheaper version. Last month, KV sent out a letter to compounding pharmacies to cease and desist from producing the drug. KV claims that because the FDA designation now makes Makena “commercially available,” “continuinig to compound this product after FDA-approval of Makena renders the compounded product subject to FDA enforcement of violating certain provisions of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, as well as FDA guidance.” Thus, Ther-RX’s privileged status now threatens companies trying to provide a cheaper version and copay to pregnant women with potential problems.

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) sent a letter to KV Pharmaceuticals Thursday demanding they “immediately reconsider the massive price increase.” Noting that African-American women have a higher percentage of premature births, and that fewer women will be able to afford the drug, Brown said he is “gravely concerned” that premature birth rates will increase nationwide. “[H]ealth insurance companies could either stop coverage of the treatment or impose higher premiums on consumers,” Brown said, adding that “state Medicaid programs — which are already struggling to make ends meet — will be forced to deal with the financial repercussions” of the “exorbitant” hike. “This isn’t in the interest of children, new mothers, or taxpayers,” Brown told ThinkProgress. As Snow and other health professionals said, “someone is going to have to pay the higher price.


Master Key to a Better American Future

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 13th, 2011 4:30 am by HL

Master Key to a Better American Future
Bob Herbert, New York Times
The United States is not racked with the turmoil that is shaking the Arab world, or the tragic devastation that has hit Japan. We are not in a state of emergency. We’re in a moment when it is possible to look thoughtfully at the American landscape and take rational steps to ensure a better, more sustainable future. Bob Herbert But we’re not doing that. The big news out of Washington this week was Representative Peter King’s Muslim witch hunt. Policy makers at all levels of government are talking austerity — sometimes…

Japan Needs Leadership, Can Kan Deliver?
Simon Tisdall, The Guardian

Harry Reid’s Cowboy Subsidies
Mark Steyn, National Review
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