Maryland’s GOP Governor Hogan Hid COVID-19 Test Kits So Feds Can’t Take Them

The federal government has left states largely on their own when it comes to testing their citizens and securing critical equipment during the pandemic. But when it comes to those supplies, Gov. Hogan’s concern appears to have been warranted: There have been numerous reports of the Federal Emergency Management Agency hijacking desperately needed protective gear for first responders and health care workers.

Source: Maryland’s GOP Governor Hid COVID-19 Test Kits So Feds Can’t Take Them | HuffPost

Inmates in charge of the asylum

We hear that New York City Mayor de Blasio is giving his daily briefing now. He’s sitting six feet away for his Health Commissioner, but neither are wearing face masks. I had thought he was doing a decent job but I’m beginning to have second thoughts.

As of 13 April 2020, the city has more confirmed coronavirus cases than China, where the epidemic began; the United Kingdom; and Iran.[8] The encompassing state of New York has more cases than any foreign country worldwide.[9] [from Wikipedia, April 15, 2020]

And on to NY Governor Andrew Cuomo: He, too, sounded good on TV. But, even in a pandemic, he always has time to shit on de Blasio. And the state’s coronavirus numbers are . . . impressive?

Still, either de Blasio or Cuomo would be better than President 45.

U.S. coronavirus cases per capita, from the Washington Post

Here in the Transbaikal, we get our news brought in by yak; it’s slow but reliable (“reliable” in the sense that the yaks refuse to carry anything from Fox News or the Washington Times).

It has been our good fortune that correspondent J.R. packed this link into our latest yak delivery. Instead of the usual media blather about “most cases” or “most deaths,” the Washington Post has helpfully converted the data to per capita.

Click the link and be enlightened:  U.S. coronavirus cases: Tracking deaths, reported cases by state – Washington Post

Rep. Carolyn Maloney — Loon?

New Yorkers will be pleased to learn that Rep. Carolyn Maloney has earned a listing in the Encyclopedia of American Loons for her repeated sponsorship of legislation to “investigate” the connection between autism and vaccination.

Maloney is not actually a loon — she’s done a lot of good in Congress — but her sponsorship of H.R.2832 and H.R.1757 was a huge embarrassment. At least she’s scrubbed all mention of them from her website.

More fun on the privacy front : Fitbit!

A nosy boss snooping on your off-the-clock peccadilloes may be the least of your worries. Fitness trackers can upload a nearly complete record of where you’ve been and what you’ve been up to …

If you want some privacy in the modern world, join us here in the Transbaikal away from civilization and off the grid. We’ll leave the light on for ya.

Source: Do fitness trackers pose a privacy risk?

The Continuing History Of The Republican Alternative To Obamacare

Here we go again. And again and again.

The Repubs have had six years to come up with an Obamacare replacement. They ain’t got one yet and they never will. Be sure to read Jason Linkins’ devastating history of their lame attempts: The Continuing History Of The Republican Alternative To Obamacare | The Huffington Post

Mylan pushed for law to make EpiPens mandatory in US schools — then fled overseas to avoid taxes

Mylan CEO Heather Bresch (Fortune Live Media/Flickr)

Mylan CEO Heather Bresch (Fortune Live Media/Flickr)

EpiPen is the brand name of an device that makes it easy to inject a pre-measured dose of epinephrine (adrenaline), most often for the treatment of anaphylaxis.

  1. Mylan, the manufacturer of the EpiPen, spent $4 million lobbying Congress to pass the 2013 School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act
  2. The Act offers incentives to schools to stock the potentially life-saving EpiPen
  3. After the law was passed, 11 states mandated that their schools stock EpiPens
  4. Your tax dollars help pay for many of the EpiPens — through incentives (see #2, above), mandates (see #3, above), purchases by the Veterans Administration, reimbursements by Medicare, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, as well as reimbursements by the health plans of state and local governments
  5. Having established a healthy demand for their product, Mylan did a “corporate inversion” in 2015, that converted them from a US company into a Dutch company, so they no longer pay any US taxes
  6. Not content with screwing us on taxes, Mylan jacked up the price of the EpiPen from $104 (2009) to $609 (2016)

But it’s not all bad news, Heather Bresch, the Mylan CEO has at least been compensated for her hard work on behalf of the company’s customers: her salary has gone from $4.9 million (2009) to $13.1 million (2015 — most recent year for which figures are available).

Source: Mylan pushed for law to make EpiPens mandatory in US schools — then fled overseas to avoid taxes

Radioactive water leaks into groundwater at Indian Point, Cuomo forms task force

Radioactive water leaked into the groundwater at the Indian Point nuclear facility, officials said Saturday.

In response to the nuclear leak at Indian Point, NY Governor Cuomo has formed an expert working group to be headed by former EPA head Christine Todd Whitman. Her chief of staff is expected to be Michael DeWayne “Brownie” Brown. Flint Michigan Emergency Manager Ed Kurtz was briefly considered for a position with the working group, but was rejected as “too qualified.”

Source: Radioactive water leaks into groundwater at Indian Point – NY Daily News