April 7, 2015 archive

Arkansas Governor a Wily Coward

On Wednesday, the Republican governor of Arkansas, Asa Hutchinson, refused to sign the religious freedom act, mainly citing his own son’s objection to the bill but, also, wishing to avoid the chaos that a similar bill in Illinois caused.

“I ask that changes be made in the legislation, and I’ve asked that the leaders in the General Assembly recall the bill so that it can be amended,” the Republican governor said, so it more precisely mirrors the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1993.

“In the alternative,” he said, “it can simply have some language changes so that those accommodations and changes can be made.”

Hutchinson had previously said he would sign the bill into law. [..]

In a sign of what he called the generational gap, the Republican governor said his son told him he could tell the press that he signed a petition asking him to veto the bill.

While the media, companies, like Walmart, and politicians, like Hillary Clinton praised Gov. Hutchinson for his courage, they have all overlooked one very important fact, that was pointed out by Karoli at Crooks and Liars:

Gov. Hutchinson didn’t veto the bill. He sent it back unsigned to the legislature. As per the Arkansas Constitution, the bill will become law in five days.

So they can dither for five days, the bill becomes law and Asa walks away with his hands clean blaming the state legislators for failing to “fix” the bill.

Cowardice of the first order.  

Cartnoon

TBC: Morning Musing 4.7.15

I have 3 articles for your perusal this morning!

First, poor poor ALEC, but they probably should’ve thought it through:

ALEC Doesn’t Want To Be Known As A ‘Climate Denier’ Organization Anymore, And It’s Willing To Sue

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the secretive organization that brings together conservative politicians and major corporate interests, is out to correct the impression that it’s a “climate denier” organization by threatening to sue groups that refer to it as one. But after a string of abandoned sponsors, the expansive free-market group’s threat to sue Common Cause and the League of Conservation Voters appears to be more motivated by containing its public relations spiral, rather than reshaping its anti-climate and anti-clean energy agenda.

As the Washington Post reports, in recent weeks attorneys for ALEC sent letters to the two organizations asking them to immediately “cease making false statements” and “remove all false or misleading material” suggesting that ALEC does not believe that “human activity has and will continue to alter the atmosphere of the planet.”

Jump!

On This Day In History April 7

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

April 7 is the 97th day of the year (98th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 268 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1948, The World Health Organization is founded. WHO is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) that acts as a coordinating authority on international public health. Established on April 7, 1948, with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, the agency inherited the mandate and resources of its predecessor, the Health Organization, which was an agency of the League of Nations.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is one of the original agencies of the United Nations, its constitution formally coming into force on the first World Health Day, (April 7, 1948), when it was ratified by the 26th member state. Jawaharlal Nehru, a major freedom fighter of India had given an opinion to start WHO. Prior to this its operations, as well as the remaining activities of the League of Nations Health Organization, were under the control of an Interim Commission following an International Health Conference in the summer of 1946. The transfer was authorized by a Resolution of the General Assembly. The epidemiological service of the French Office International d’Hygi√®ne Publique was incorporated into the Interim Commission of the World Health Organization on January 1, 1947.

Activities

Apart from coordinating international efforts to control outbreaks of infectious disease, such as SARS, malaria, tuberculosis, influenza, and HIV/AIDS, the WHO also sponsors programmes to prevent and treat such diseases. The WHO supports the development and distribution of safe and effective vaccines, pharmaceutical diagnostics, and drugs. After over two decades of fighting smallpox, the WHO declared in 1980, that the disease had been eradicated – the first disease in history to be eliminated by human effort. The WHO aims to eradicate polio within the next few years.

The organization develops and promotes the use of evidence-based tools, norms and standards to support Member States to inform health policy options. It regularly publishes a World Health Report including an expert assessment of a specific global health topic. The organization has published tools for monitoring the capacity of national health systems and health workforces to meet population health needs, and endorsed the world’s first official HIV/AIDS Toolkit for Zimbabwe (from 3 October 2006), making it an international standard.

In addition, the WHO carries out various health-related campaigns – for example, to boost the consumption of fruits and vegetables worldwide and to discourage tobacco use. The organization relies on the expertise and experience of many world-renowned scientists and professionals to inform its work. Experts met at the WHO headquarters in Geneva in February, 2007, and reported that their work on pandemic influenza vaccine development had achieved encouraging progress. More than 40 clinical trials have been completed or are ongoing. Most have focused on healthy adults. Some companies, after completing safety analysis in adults, have initiated clinical trials in the elderly and in children. All vacciness so far appear to be safe and well-tolerated in all age groups tested.

The WHO also promotes the development of capacities in Member States to use and produce research that addresses national needs, by bolstering national health research systems and promoting knowledge translation platforms such as the Evidence Informed Policy Network (EVIPNet). WHO and its regional offices are working to develop regional policies on research for health – the first one being the Pan American Health Organization/Regional Office for the Americas (PAHO/AMRO) that had its Policy on Research for Health approved in September 2009 by its 49th Directing Council Document CD 49.10.

WHO also conducts health research in communicable diseases, non-communicable conditions and injuries; for example, longitudinal studies on ageing to determine if the additional years we live are in good or poor health, and, whether the electromagnetic field surrounding cell phones has an impact on health. Some of this work can be controversial, as illustrated by the April, 2003, joint WHO/FAO report, which recommended that sugar should form no more than 10% of a healthy diet. This report led to lobbying by the sugar industry against the recommendation, to which the WHO/FAO responded by including in the report the statement “The Consultation recognized that a population goal for free sugars of less than 10% of total energy is controversial”, but also stood by its recommendation based upon its own analysis of scientific studies.

The World Health Organization’s suite of health studies is working to provide the needed health and well-being evidence through a variety of data collection platforms, including the World Health Survey covering 308,000 respondents aged 18+ years and 81,000 aged 50+ years from 70 countries and the Study on Global Aging and Adult Health (SAGE) covering over 50,000 persons aged 50+ across almost 23 countries. The World Mental Health Surveys, WHO Quality of Life Instrument, WHO Disability Assessment Scales provide guidance for data collection in other health and health-related areas. Collaborative efforts between WHO and other agencies, such as the Health Metrics Network and the International Household Surveys Network, serve the normative functions of setting high research standards.

WHO has also worked on global initiatives in surgery such as the Global Initiative for Emergency and Essential Surgical Care and the Guidelines for Essential Trauma Care focussed on access and quality. Safe Surgery Saves Lives addresses the safety of surgical care. The WHO Surgical Safety Checklist is in current use worldwide in the effort to improve safety in surgical patients.

Ear Bugs (You Know The Words)

2015 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament: Finals

Ok, so we’re just die hard Mid-Westerners at Casa de Hornbeck.  Anyone for a quick game of Euchre?

Saturday’s Results-

Score Seed Team Record Region Score Seed Team Record Region
81 1 Duke 33-4 South 61 7 Michigan State 27-12 East
71 1 Wisconsin 36-3 West 64 1 Kentucky 38-1 Mid-West

At least Kentucky’s out of it because I’m just not ready to see Larry Wilmore fed like a bird (ick).

Tonight’s Big Game-

Time Channel Seed Team Record Region Seed Team Record Region
9:00pm CBS 1 Wisconsin 36-3 West 1 Duke 33-4 South

Kentucky’s defeat has left the “experts” scrambling but the Vegas line is Wisconsin by 1.  This may be due to the fact that Duke is about as popular as the New York Yankees (who lost their home opener today 1 – 6 against the Jays).  Fortunately I’m a Mets fan.

Since you insist, they won 3 – 1 away against the Nationals and I get to say (probably for the last time this season) that they are tied for the lead in the National League East.

But I can’t truly transfer my attention to Baseball until the College Basketball season officially ends tomorrow with the Lady Huskies thumping Notre Dame.

Take me out to the ball game…