Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Dimwit SB (Sanders)

There is absolutely nothing funny about Jim Sanders article, “Light bulb legislator strives for bright ideas. Elephants are also on radar of Lloyd Levine, who wants to 'do big things".

Surely Assemblyman Levine might be biting off more than he can chew, but the only people who don’t’ make mistakes are the ones who do nothing.

There is nothing wrong with his applying for “The Bachelor” show (he is an attractive bachelor), or being a “huge Bruce Springsteen fan.”

I don't believe Mr. Levine’s physical stats, his dating, running or musical habits, etc are of any relevance to his functioning as a State Legislator.

Similarly, maintaining high visibility is critical for any Assemblyman preparing to run for California State Senate.

Levine is definitely not marching to the tune of “Sanders drummers” such as John Benoit and crude former (thank you!) Assemblyman Mountjoy, who would rather prolong the pain and suffering of terminal patients, supported by the Republican Party.

As chairman of the Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee, Levine drew criticism last week for traveling to Japan with other legislators, regulators and various officials in the energy and telecommunications fields, which his committee regulates.

According to Sanders “…The purpose of the trip was to tour Japan and discuss telecommunications and energy technology”, which is already much better than Pelosi’s trip to Syria that was paid for by US taxpayers and had no stated purpose.

We believe the real reason for this disrespectful article is in direct retaliation for Assemblyman Levine’s on-going support for Californians right to self determination and choices based on informed decisions.

This tongue-in-cheek attack by Sanders and the Sacramento Bee comes on the heels of State Assembly Judiciary Committee approval of AB 374, and in support of undue pressure on State Legislators from the Catholic Church and Cardinal Mahony.

Shame on Sacramento Bee for their attempt to slander an outstanding California legislator, mover and shaker, and policy maker.

We gripe, you decide!

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Kudos to Assemblyman Mark Leno...

... for the introduction of AB 1472(Leno): The California Healthy Places Act

Our health is largely determined by where we live, work, and play.

The California Healthy Places Act would provide technical assistance and grants to community organizations and local health agencies to evaluate land-use planning decisions to ensure that they create and maintain communities that promote health, through the new California Department of Public Health.

According to the Institute of Medicine, improving health in the 21st century will require new approaches to environmental health, including strategies to deal with unhealthy buildings, urban congestion, poor housing, poor nutrition, and environmentally-related stress.

Health impact assessments can provide important evidence to back up community positions and concerns, giving communities a direct role in asking and answering questions important to healthy growth, whether those questions come from an environmental justice, environmental health, economic justice or other community perspective.

It provides community organizations with political and economic power in planning decisions that equals that of big developers and corrupt politicians who support them.

It’s about time to give Californians a say in the way their communities are being developed/preserved and the way their money is being spent.

We gripe, you decide.

Be Well!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

How much is that Congressman in the window?...

...is the question that might be easily answered by the Pharmaceutical companies and their trade associations; they spent a record $155 million lobbying Congress from January 2005 through June 2006, according to a study released on Sunday by the Center for Public Integrity, Bloomberg/Chicago Tribune reports (Bloomberg/Chicago Tribune, 4/3).

Drug makers dispatched about 1,100 agents to lobby congressional committees and administration offices during each of the last two years, the study found. The drug industry was successful in achieving some of its major goals, such as upholding a government ban on the reimportation of prescription drugs, according to the study.

The drug industry also was successful in blocking legislation that would have allowed the federal government to negotiate prescription drug prices for Medicare, the report found.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the "battles are expected to be fought more fiercely this year" with a Democratic majority in Congress.

Here is the tool for Democratic Congress that I've introduced earlier this year--Pharmaceutical Ethical Marketing & Manufacturing (PEMM©) Index, which is a ratio of the R&D budget to the Marketing & Administration & Lobbying budgets by each Pharma company across all product lines (% of, or actual expenditures).

Currently, the industry-wide PEMM© index is around 0.35. It means that only 35 cents of each Pharma dollars goes to actual reseach and development. The remaining 65 cents of each dollar is spent on marketing, lobbying and administration. This index will serve as rough, but sorely needed, guide for health consumers and providers.

Let's see if the Pharma companies dare to disclose their index to Congress and to Americans!

Shame on Americans for allowing the rip-off by pharmaceutical companies protected by Congress!

Be Well

Shame on Religious "WRONG"...

State Sen. McClintock and Cardinal Mahony are misguided at best, or deliberately wrong on the issues of assisted suicide.

McClintock essentially argued that "we don't need a law to allow people to pursue an option that is already available to them. There are many simple, painless ways to end it all, if one is of a mind to do so".

The conservative Republican says that advocates of the assisted suicide are really seeking our collective approval: "As a society, Do we really want to stand on the pavement and shout, "Jump!"?

It appears the the ultra-conservative former candidate for Gov. "totally lost it", as he advocates and encourages felonious conduct by health care providers and patient's families, rather than supporting the legal dignified procedure requested by the medical consumer.

Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony denounced Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez for supporting the bill and accused Nunez of being part of the "culture of death." Cardinal Mahony should worry about protecting our youth from his pedophile priests and instructing them not to lie under oath.

Cardinal Mahony’s sentiments will be echoed in churches across California. Parishioners will be asked to contact Assembly members, especially Latino majority.

Catholic Church should be separate from State Legislature as state government is not an enforcement arm for Catholic doctrine. Legislators who don't understand the separation of church and government should be removed from the State Legislature!

Be Well!