GAY-BASHING LOSING ITS APPEAL?

Rick Perry’s recent 30-second spot has now been viewed on YouTube a great many times. Last I checked, it had 340,059 dislikes and 7,901 likes – encouraging to those of us who believe Rick Perry is on the wrong side of history, like those who once used the Bible to support slavery or deny women the vote.

NEWT

In case you missed Maureen Dowd last week:

. . . His mind is a jumble, an amateurish mess lacking impulse control. He plays air guitar with ideas, producing air ideas. He ejaculates concepts, notions and theories that are as inconsistent as his behavior. He didn’t get whiplash being a serial adulterer while impeaching another serial adulterer, a lobbyist for Freddie Mac while attacking Freddie Mac, a self-professed fiscal conservative with a whopping Tiffany’s credit line, and an anti-Communist Army brat who supported the Vietnam War but dodged it . . .

MITT

From the Washington Post:

The Romney camp’s indifference to the truth
By Greg Sargent

This morning I noted that an anonymous top Romney campaign operative is now defending that false ad attacking Obama by claiming that all political ads take things out of context, and that by definition all political ads are ‘manipulative’ and ‘propaganda.’ . . .

. . . Romney top adviser Eric Fehnstrom told Dave Weigel on the record that the controversy generated by the ad’s use of Obama’s words was ‘all deliberate’ and ‘very intentional.’ A second Romney adviser, Stuart Stevens, justified the plainly misleading use of Obama footage by claiming that, hey, Obama did say those words, right? And Romney’s New Hampshire adviser said the same thing, and even added that increased media attention to the ad’s dishonesty was a positive for the Romney campaign.

Now we have a top Romney operative stating flatly that they view political ads as ‘propaganda,’ in effect suggesting there are no reasonable standards of fairness and accuracy that can be applied to them. Yes, this latest comes from an anonymous operative. But is there any doubt at this point that this is exactly how the Romney team sees things? Maybe it’s just me, but the broader pattern here seems kind of newsworthy.

BRAIN STRUCTURE:
LIBERALS VERSUS CONSERVATIVES

Mike Elwood: ‘I don’t know if this explains why so many people vote against their own interests, but it’s a start: ‘Liberals have more gray matter in a part of the brain associated with understanding complexity, while the conservative brain is bigger in the section related to processing fear, said the study on Thursday in Current Biology . . .

☞ Ugh. Just the sort of elitist, science-based snootery that leads some to fear we’re out to make Medicare a government program and confiscate their guns.

QUOTING TEDDY

Mike Martin: ‘It was nice hearing President Obama quoting [Republican] Teddy Roosevelt, but it seems he omitted the most apt quotations. The Occupy Wall Street crowd would be attracted by quoting Roosevelt: ‘Political parties exist to secure responsible government and to execute the will of the people. From these great tasks both of the old parties have turned aside. Instead of instruments to promote the general welfare they have become the tools of corrupt interests, which use them impartially to serve their selfish purposes. Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to dissolve the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics, is the first task of the statesmanship of the day.’ President Obama would gain a lot by listening to Teddy Roosevelt: ‘The unforgivable crime is soft hitting. Do not hit at all if it can be avoided; but never hit softly.’ ‘

☞ That first quotation could not be more apt today as regards one of our two political parties, I think; the one closely identified with corporate interests. Not so much to the other. The second quotation conforms to the conventional liberal wisdom (that the President should be tougher), but I’d say, first, that – as to our enemies abroad – he has not hit softly: 22 of Al-Qaeda’s top 30 operatives have been eliminated. Second, that ‘shock and awe’ is not always the best course – compare Bush’s management of Saddam with Obama’s of Qaddafi. Third, that – here at home – hitting Republican Senators harder would not necessarily have changed any of their votes. This is a longer discussion, but the President may yet wind up winning the long game, as regards many of his domestic priorities.

ALXA

Guru: ‘I’m afraid the FDA is really torpedoing ALXA’s pulmonary safety and ALXA did hide the extent and details of the pulmonary data. (The published studies we reviewed last year said there were no significant changes in lung function.) Based on what I’m reading of the FDA comments today, doesn’t look like this is going to get an approval without a lot more lung function tests. ALXA is in a catch-22: they are saying that the fact that loxapine makes you somewhat sleepy (a good thing for a patient with schizophrenia who is agitated) also makes it look like there is some compromise in lung function (sleepy healthy volunteers won’t be able to blow as hard as non-sleepy ones) and the FDA is saying this propensity to induce sleepiness may be additive to other issues that could cause bronchospasm and may be masking the underlying lung effects of the product. The same arguments could be made for ANY form of loxapine delivery: the intramuscular would make you sleepy, so you probably would have “lung function” problems, but since ALXA is delivering loxapine to the lungs, there appears to be more of a concern. IF ALXA had done more trials to show a clinical superiority to intramuscular loxapine AND no difference in lung function, THEN they would have a great argument, BUT they did not. BOTTOM line: I’m not optimistic. Cash is 0.39/share. I thought a couple of puffs of a well-known treatment for schizophrenic agitation would not be a big deal. It’s not like they are inhaling this daily for weeks and weeks – where you could worry about chronic lung irritation. But I was clearly VERY out of synch with the FDA on this one. Of course, it is possible, the panel will not agree with the FDA, but they have put five pulmonary experts on the panel as temporary voting members. I’d imagine they will agree with the FDA’s concerns and since the company doesn’t have data that shows this medically essential, I’m not sure they can convince the psychiatrists on the panel to vote yes. I have spoken to a couple of psychiatrists who were really enthusiastic, but they aren’t the FDA.’

 

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