- The Senate Democrats are apparently working towards abandoning the Dreamers.
- More layoffs reported, this time at Kimberly-Clarke, where tax cut money is apparently being used to fund the company doing less and less work at a higher shareholder profit.
- NTSB update on the derailment at Dupont: “The engineer said that he saw mileposts 16 and 17 but didn’t recall seeing milepost 18 or the 30 mph advance speed sign, which was posted two miles ahead of the speed-restricted curve.” Say, what?
- Ursula K. Leguin is dead.
Thursday, January 25, 2018
And Now the News
Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Two Thoughts on the Continuing Resolution
- What does McConnell have up his sleeve?
- Did the Democrats make a strategic retreat, or did they just retreat?
Saturday, January 20, 2018
Shutdown: the Atrocity and the Odds
The Republicans are perfectly willing to let the country turn into a shambles waiting, Trump doesn't care as long a he feels like he is winning, and the Democrats are genuinely concerned with the state of the USA. It is just possible that some of the less-fascist Republicans will break, but it is more likely, I think, that the Democrats will; they have not been willing to fight for long years.
I hope the Democrats do stand fast. Mass deportations are, literally, something out of the Nazi past. Should the United States pursue such a policy, Homeland Security will be vastly expanded and will, once the deportations are done, turn to other atrocities.
Friday, January 19, 2018
Statins, Donald Trump, and Public Health
Dr. Ronny Jackson, physician to the President, describes Donald Trump’s health as “excellent.” That seems to be some special medical sense of the word. President Trump has high cholesterol and this is being medicated with rosuvastatin. He has been told to lose weight and exercise. Interestingly, he uses ivermectin cream for treatment of rosacea, a disease whose victims break out in unsightly red blotches; this probably explains the makeup he wears.
Statins are known to have neurological side effects, sometimes increasing and sometimes decreasing aggression and also sometimes causing memory loss and confusion. It is possible that Donald Trump is displaying these effects, but they are not well-understood and hard to diagnose. On the other hand, rosacea has a powerful effect on self-esteem; some people don’t like the way it makes them look. It is possible that rosacea explains some of Trump’s personality, especially if the onset was in his teenage years.
Returning to statins, it is likely that drugs so far-reaching in their systemic effect have some neurological effect on every regular user. It may be that no President ought regularly be using statins.
Statins are among the drugs most widely-prescribed among older adults, with some 30% of adults over 40 using statins at least sometimes in 2011-12. If the aggression-enhancing and serious cognitive impairments are fairly common it just might explain some of why elders are getting so cranky. Perhaps, literally, the outburst of fascism we are undergoing is in part a public health problem.
Perhaps, perhaps. I cannot draw strong conclusions from the evidence; this is a sketch of a research program, rather than a certain warning. Still, I would like to see Donald Trump taken off rosuvastatin for a time and find out if he becomes a calmer, more decent man.
Cham, Stephanie, Hayley J. Koslik, and Beatrice A. Golomb. “Mood, Personality, and Behavior Changes During Treatment with Statins: A Case Series.” Drug Safety - Case Reports 3 (December 29, 2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40800-015-0024-2.
Golomb, Beatrice A., Joel E. Dimsdale, Hayley J. Koslik, Marcella A. Evans, Xun Lu, Steven Rossi, Paul J. Mills, Halbert L. White, and Michael H. Criqui. “Statin Effects on Aggression: Results from the UCSD Statin Study, a Randomized Control Trial.” PLoS ONE 10, no. 7 (July 1, 2015). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0124451.
Qiuping Gu, Ryne Paulose-Ram, Vicki L. Burt, and Brian K. Kit. “Prescription Cholesterol-Lowering Medication Use in Adults Aged 40 and Over: United States, 2003–2012.” NCHS Data Briefs. National Center for Health Statistics, December 2014.
Staff, Politico. “Trump’s 2018 Physical Exam Results.” POLITICO, January 16, 2018. http://politi.co/2mOm2Ij.
“Statin Side Effects: Weigh the Benefits and Risks.” Mayo Clinic, April 26, 2016. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/in-depth/statin-side-effects/art-20046013.
“Welcome to the UCSD Statin Effects Study.” Accessed January 19, 2018. https://www.statineffects.com/info/.
Sunday, January 14, 2018
Two Senators and the Mob
Is that like Lindsay Graham, who went golfing with Trump and turned into a Trumpite?
This isn't normal politics. Likely enough threats of violence have been made against Republican Senators. Trump has mob connections. Putin has ordered assassinations outside of Russia. We can no longer assume that these things are beyond possibility: that direct threats against politicians and their families have not been made.
Friday, January 5, 2018
And now Trump goes off the deep end
What happens now?
Tuesday, January 2, 2018
Review: The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump
(Also posted at Goodreads.)