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VP debate last night.

Geoffchef's picture

Of the four men I have now seen debating, the least impressive was George Bush. By a landslide. Cheney's a tough nut and Edwards is smart as a whip.

 


 


The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.


-Robert W. Service

 

ADAM'S APPLE, n.
A protuberance in the throat of man, thoughtfully provided by Nature to keep the rope in place.
Ambrose Bierce - The Devil's Dictionary

 

StevenHB's picture

(post #42756, reply #65 of 109)

Guys: What about a 4-hour erection? Do you call your doctor? LOL Why on earth are they "advertising" this? We have a heap of horny men with erections and women with no birth control, oh boy! Maybe you'll understand when you have girl children?


Oh, please, give me the 4-hour erection!  ;-) The thought of having to go to my doctor with such a problem is enough to keep me away from Cialis. I wonder how they treat the condition?  Perhaps by surgically draining the blood from the pen1s?  Ouch!  Not interested, thank you very much.


And I have two daughters.




Without coffee, chocolate, and beer, in that order, life as we know it would not be possible


Edited 10/7/2004 6:50 pm ET by StevenHB

Without coffee, chocolate, and beer, in that order, life as we know it would not be possible
Lword's picture

(post #42756, reply #68 of 109)

I probably should have added a ;) but it's clear you get it, what with daughters! Best wishes!

L.

L.
"If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one." Mother Teresa
ashleyd's picture

(post #42756, reply #62 of 109)

Fundamentally I agree with your points, the problem is, to quote your example of the blood pressure medication, what if you have spent serious megabucks on developing what you hoped would be a breakthrough treatment only to find that it was not as effective as everybody had hoped? Would you say, aw shucks it's only money, we might get lucky next time, or would you try and get at least some of that money back. Remember that without good revenue streams your business is dead. Tough call. The problem lies with the system, the increasing regulatory burden (we are the most regulated industry in the world) and short practical patent period conspire to force behaviour that is occasionally sub-optimal. Book copyright lasts for ages (75 years from memory but don't quote me!), so if there was a longer period to recover costs then prices would almost inevitably fall, either by commercial pressures or government intervention.


Once upon a time (as all good fairy tales start) there was something called individual responsibility, so if you made an informed choice about anything, be it the food you ate, the car you drove or the medication you took then if something went wrong then hey, you knew the risk and accepted the consequences unless the supplier was culpably negligent. Nowadays we have the blame culture, if I am adversely affected by anything it must be somebody's fault and I'll sue the *ss off them. Makes it tough in lots of businesses and pharma is one huge target. Today everyday medication like aspirin and Tylenol (paracetamol) would not have a hope in hell of getting FDA approval. Does that make them bad products? Try to fix your headache with meditation and herbal remedies and come back with your answer!


So yes, there is a problem with the cost of drugs, but you can't lay all the blame at the doors of the drug companies just for trying to stay in business.



“In victory, you deserve <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Champagne, in defeat, you need it.”
Napoleon Bonaparte

Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

StevenHB's picture

(post #42756, reply #63 of 109)

Once upon a time (as all good fairy tales start) there was something called individual responsibility, so if you made an informed choice about anything, be it the food you ate, the car you drove or the medication you took then if something went wrong then hey, you knew the risk and accepted the consequences unless the supplier was culpably negligent. Nowadays we have the blame culture, if I am adversely affected by anything it must be somebody's fault and I'll sue the *ss off them.


It's still true that you need to prove someone culpably negligent to win a suit.  There are, of course, a number of examples of egregious exceptions.  Most of the ones popularized in the media as being "patently without merit" have more merit than you realize.


The person burned by hot coffee that s/he held in his/her lap while driving: well, it turns out that McDonald's brewed its coffee significantly hotter than home machines do (because people tend to travel with their coffee before consuming it) and they'd received numerous complaints about it, all of which they'd ignored.


The Republicans claim that medical liability insurance premiums are skyrocketing due to skyrocketing malpractice lawsuit costs: also not true.  Awards generally aren't offensive, aren't for the general risk, and their annual cost isn't increasing rapidly.  Furthermore, a small percentage of doctors account for a large percentage of the cost. 




Without coffee, chocolate, and beer, in that order, life as we know it would not be possible


Edited 10/7/2004 6:46 pm ET by StevenHB

Without coffee, chocolate, and beer, in that order, life as we know it would not be possible
ashleyd's picture

(post #42756, reply #74 of 109)

It's still true that you need to prove someone culpably negligent to win a suit. 


Well, up to a point, the definition of culpability seems to stretch a bit, but we can discuss that another time, the point I want to make here is that the cost of defending these lawsuits, win or lose, can be horrendous. There have been enough cases in the UK, and I believe it is much worse in the US, when the person or company being sued has just paid up because it is significantly cheaper than defending the suit, even if they eventually won. Some litigants even make a habit of it, pitching their claims at just the right level.



“In victory, you deserve <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Champagne, in defeat, you need it.”
Napoleon Bonaparte


Edited 10/8/2004 3:44 am ET by ashleyd

Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

StevenHB's picture

(post #42756, reply #64 of 109)

what if you have spent serious megabucks on developing what you hoped would be a breakthrough treatment only to find that it was not as effective as everybody had hoped? Would you say, aw shucks it's only money, we might get lucky next time, or would you try and get at least some of that money back.


The problem arises when you market the drug to patients and doctors and don't make it clear that the new drug is less effective than the old one.  The right use for a hypothetical drug like you reference is for patients who have failed the more effective one or for whom the more effective drug is contraindicated.



Without coffee, chocolate, and beer, in that order, life as we know it would not be possible

Without coffee, chocolate, and beer, in that order, life as we know it would not be possible
ashleyd's picture

(post #42756, reply #66 of 109)

I'll go with you so far on this, but if you're marketing anything you tell them what it does well and ignore the other stuff. It may not be ideal but that's what happens.


“In victory, you deserve <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Champagne, in defeat, you need it.”
Napoleon Bonaparte

Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

StevenHB's picture

(post #42756, reply #69 of 109)

In the US, if drug companies market prescription drugs to consumers, they must identify common side-effects.


I don't know how they handle their marketing to medical professionals but if the doctors can't investigate the drugs that they prescribe properly, they shouldn't be practicing medicine.



Without coffee, chocolate, and beer, in that order, life as we know it would not be possible

Without coffee, chocolate, and beer, in that order, life as we know it would not be possible
Gretchen's picture

(post #42756, reply #71 of 109)

Welll, now we are faced with Merck's recall of Vioxx because of an extended drug trial because it might have been useful in colon cancer.  It would not have been "caught" without its being looked at for an alternative therapy.

Gretchen

Gretchen
Aberwacky's picture

(post #42756, reply #82 of 109)

I was not surprised to hear about the recall. 5 years ago my hypertensive, arthritic mother was on Vioxx, had been on it for 2 years at the time, and experienced a huge spike in her blood pressure. (I can't remember exactly, but I think when she took it was in the neighboorhood of 210/120. Dangerous levels, for sure.)


Even at that time, her doctor was aware that was a potential, unofficial side effect of taking the drug and took her off it.


Leigh

"Happiness does not depend on outward things, but on the way we see them." 
-Leo Tolstoy
CookiM0nster's picture

(post #42756, reply #70 of 109)

"So yes, there is a problem with the cost of drugs, but you can't lay all the blame at the doors of the drug companies just for trying to stay in business."

Strangely, I agree with you. And I agree here too.

"The problem lies with the system, the increasing regulatory burden (we are the most regulated industry in the world) and short practical patent period conspire to force behaviour that is occasionally sub-optimal."

The difficulty, of course, is in creating a solution. Too many people have too much invested in the way things work to make any real change easy, but things have to change, or I think all the big drug companies are headed for disaster eventually.

Wolvie's picture

(post #42756, reply #79 of 109)

I agree with you for the most part. I think the consumer is going to feel the disaster before the big drug companies do. In fact, we already are. It's deplorable to me that medical care in this country is out of the reach of so many people.


I said to someone the other day that  unfortunately, I think the government is going to have to step in and take care of this situation. It is out of control, and I don't think any one player will step up to do the right thing. Free enterprise is not going to fix this dilemma.


I heard a really startling (tho not surprising) thing on NPR the other day. A major pharm company is going to short supply the UK so there aren't enough drugs for them to send to American consumers. Nice, eh?


Surprisingly, this isn't getting much election year play.



"People that are really very weird can get into sensitive positions and have a tremendous impact on history."


George W. Bush


"Through pride we are ever deceiving ourselves. But deep down below the surface of the average conscience a still, small voice says to us, 'Something is out of tune."  Carl Jung

 

KarenP's picture

(post #42756, reply #59 of 109)

 Oh yes, I know it all too well. I work in healthcare. Have in some capacity since I was a pup.  I have a 92 year old dad with pharmacy bills.  I was on the clinic administrators committee of a large PPO for a number of years.  What slayed me was that this doctor has bought into that its something special and that "they" will make her family safe.  No justification, just what she believes.  Well, actually, partial belief is because John Edwards is too good looking and a lawyer.

Biscuits's picture

(post #42756, reply #37 of 109)

You know, I 've heard that from so many people - about George Bush making us safer.  IMNSHO, he has made us UNSAFE by pissing nasty, evil people off and alienating our allies.  We're pretty much alone now if anyone attacks us - very few of our former allies will come to our aid, and many will say, "Oh, well - this is what you get for pre-emptive wars and telling the UN to go F-itself.  Have a good life!"


Frankly, I don't see how anyone can say that W makes us safe - I feel more frightened and scared NOW than ever before because of his cowboy-get-'em-before-they-get-us foreign policy.  He's a loose cannon, and he's writing checks that I don't think we will be able to pay.


Life is tough - but it's tougher when you're stupid - Major Jeffrey F. Richardson, USMC

Ancora Imparo -

Aberwacky's picture

(post #42756, reply #67 of 109)

 IMNSHO, he has made us UNSAFE by pissing nasty, evil people off and alienating our allies.  We're pretty much alone now if anyone attacks us - very few of our former allies will come to our aid, and many will say, "Oh, well - this is what you get for pre-emptive wars and telling the UN to go F-itself.  Have a good life!".


I feel more frightened and scared NOW than ever before because of his cowboy-get-'em-before-they-get-us foreign policy. 


I do, too. 


I never worried about my overseas travel, even after 9/11, but on my recent trips abroad I've detected a decidedly different tone that concerns me.


Even my career military, Republican husband and his His VERY conservative, also career military (retired Col.) brother thinks the world is a more dangerous place because of President Bush's foreign policy. My BIL is so piffed off at the EXTRA danger all our military is now because of Bush , I'm afraid he'll have a heart attack when the subject comes up. 


Leigh

"Happiness does not depend on outward things, but on the way we see them." 
-Leo Tolstoy
Gretchen's picture

(post #42756, reply #72 of 109)

Even my career military, Republican husband and his His VERY conservative, also career military (retired Col.) brother thinks the world is a more dangerous place because of President Bush's foreign policy.


Is it truly because of Bush's foreign policy or is it the state of the world since 9/11--and the necessities of security since then. And how on earth could we tell.  I'm not excusing AnYone--but the world definitely became different on that day.


Gretchen
Gretchen
Jean's picture

(post #42756, reply #73 of 109)

Absolutely! It was the start of WWIII. Not the same kind of war we've ever known before, but war nonetheless. Does anyone doubt that that 4th plane was headed toward the White House or Congress or other Washington DC target?

Veni, vidi, velcro        I came,  I  saw,  I stuck around.


http://www.thebreastcancersite.com

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
IanDG's picture

(post #42756, reply #75 of 109)

And how on earth could we tell.


One sure test of the effect of the Bush diplomacy would be to compare the wave of support around the world for America immediately post 9/11 with international opinion now.

JoanneB17's picture

(post #42756, reply #76 of 109)

I'm boiling mad listening to Linda Werthheimer's story on Morning Edition about the strong-arm tactics used to keep out anyone "suspicious" at Bush visits. All of his visits, presidential or campaign, are ruled with the same iron fist. Should be on archives shortly. Morning edition, Friday, Oct. 8.

Some kind of democracy Bush's handlers subscribe to.

Of course NPR is a left-wing organization, so beware! ;)

edited to add a link to the page that shows the story. Scroll down the page to find it.

http://www.npr.org/rundowns/rundown.php?prgDate=08-Oct-2004&prgId=3


Edited 10/8/2004 12:50 pm ET by Jo

ashleyd's picture

(post #42756, reply #77 of 109)

...the world definitely became different on that day.


Actually that's not strictly true. America may have become different but the rest of the world carried on much as before. It is only what the US government did afterwards that made the world become different.



“In victory, you deserve <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Champagne, in defeat, you need it.”
Napoleon Bonaparte

Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

JoanneB17's picture

(post #42756, reply #80 of 109)

I completely agree with you. Our government squandered the good will that we had after that day by going off on a self-serving tangent in Iraq.


I just had a creepy thought yesterday that the Bush government subscribes to a kind of Ayn Rand "objectivism" that renders them rock-solid sure that their way is the only way, the right way, and to hell with any other point of view. But I'm not qualified to answer that.

StevenHB's picture

(post #42756, reply #83 of 109)

Our government squandered the good will that we had after that day by going off on a self-serving tangent in Iraq.


Amen



Without coffee, chocolate, and beer, in that order, life as we know it would not be possible

Without coffee, chocolate, and beer, in that order, life as we know it would not be possible
Biscuits's picture

(post #42756, reply #85 of 109)

Bush government subscribes to a kind of Ayn Rand "objectivism" that renders them rock-solid sure that their way is the only way, the right way, and to hell with any other point of view. But I'm not qualified to answer that.


Interesting observation - and I know someone who MIGHT be qualified as an expert, who agrees with you.


Last night I was watching the Daily Show, as usual.  Yes, I know, I know - it's not a REAL news show, but I love it anyway, and they have good guest speakers, too (two nights ago it was Archbiship Desmond Tutu!).  Anyway, last night he had on - wait for it - Bill O'Reilly from Fox!  He said he wanted to rub his face in his mistake of saying that the Daily Show's audience was made up of "stoners" (they did a poll - a real one and found out that the Daily Show's viewers were largely made up of college grads and professionals were O'Reilly's show - shall we say - was not, but that's another story...).


ANYWAY - Bill O'Reilly, the darling of Fox, is there, and I expected to hate him, because he piffs me off on a regular basis, but to my surprise - (a) he is an undecided voter! and (b) he said the same thing about the Bush Administration you just said - that their biggest liability - and maybe their strength - is thier rock-solid, unswayable belief that they are right, that their policies are the right ones, and that everyone else is dead wrong.


I figure he qualifies as somewhat of an expert since he's interviewed W and many of his staff and he definitely leans toward the right. 


I was really surprised that he's undecided. 


Life is tough - but it's tougher when you're stupid - Major Jeffrey F. Richardson, USMC

Ancora Imparo -

CookiM0nster's picture

(post #42756, reply #88 of 109)

Ditto what you said about Bill O'Reilly. I had exactly the same reaction.

Aberwacky's picture

(post #42756, reply #81 of 109)

Let me start by saying I generally avoid political discussions--here, at work and with most of the world--because of the polemicizing effect they generally have.  When I enter into one, I usually regret it.


That said: it's not the state of the world that my BIL thinks has made us less safe, it's Bush's response to it.


He is piffed off because of what the Bush administration is responsible for:  the situation at Abu Ghraib (which he feels removes any moral superiority we might have when it comes to human rights and further endangers our solders and civilians overseas), the detainees at Guantanamo (for the manipulation of human rights and our military and civilian justice systems), and President Bush's lack of truly getting our former allies involved. 


My BIL spent a chunk of his life overseas as an Army brat  and during his own years of service, living in Europe and the Middle East, and the final part of his career at the Pentagon, retiring from the Army with the rank of Colonel.  I do not consider his opinion on military matters to be an uninformed one.


Leigh

"Happiness does not depend on outward things, but on the way we see them." 
-Leo Tolstoy
ashleyd's picture

(post #42756, reply #84 of 109)

I think that was an excellent response. It clearly sets out your BIL's reasonable point of view (which I happen to agree with) on matters relating to the conflict but carefully does not go into the more contentious issue of whether or not we should have been there in the first place. Smart man (and you for quoting him).


“In victory, you deserve <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Champagne, in defeat, you need it.”
Napoleon Bonaparte

Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

Biscuits's picture

(post #42756, reply #86 of 109)

Add to that sending in Reservists and National Guard people to full-blown COMBAT zones, which they were unprepared for and didn't really have the training for, instead of backfilling for the regular Army or acting as backups or support staff like they are supposed to, and you have my husband's position almost down to the letter.  (LCDR, Navy Reserve (former active duty), CB, who also spent 6 months over there and saw many scary things the news didn't report).


My DH, who is a staunch Republican, very conservative, never-voted-for-a-Democrat-in-his-life, very pro-military, is voting Democrat this time.  I was stunned when he told me that - we have never agreed on politics ever!  He just said he can't vote for an administration (and he makes that distinction - he's not voting AGAINST GWB, he's voting against his administration) that has done more harm to the military and our foreign policies than good.


 


Life is tough - but it's tougher when you're stupid - Major Jeffrey F. Richardson, USMC

Ancora Imparo -

TracyK's picture

(post #42756, reply #87 of 109)

My friend Jason wrote an excellent summary of the first presidential debate:


http://www.the-diner.net/DietPlate.htm (not Chiqui-rated language, LOL)



That's just bad pigs.

MadMom's picture

(post #42756, reply #89 of 109)

Good summary - although I certainly hope he's wrong about the electoral count!  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Kerry once again creams Bush tonight.  This one should be easier, especially since the job creation numbers came out...August revised downward from the original estimate (surprised?  that seems to happen frequently!) and September about 2/3 of what had been projected.  Recovery?  Tell that to the people who are out of work. 


Biscuit, I just finished watching The Daily Show, and I, too, was prepared to hate Bill O'Reilly.  He actually did come across as undecided, and I think even he is beginning to see the chinks in the administration's armor.  I loved the comment that this president would rather be certain than right...for me, that just about sums it up.  I do love Jon Stewart!


Things are going to get a lot worse before they get worse.
Lily Tomlin

ashleyd's picture

(post #42756, reply #91 of 109)

Just read an interesting piece by Simon Schama, well-known historian and now a professor at Columbia University, in which he says what Kerry needs now is a decent speech. Read what he proposes for it in The Guardian


“In victory, you deserve <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Champagne, in defeat, you need it.”
Napoleon Bonaparte

Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.