A New Drug for Huntington’s and a Modest Proposal

Some progress in mitigating a devastating genetic disease

“We recently tested a new drug, called RG6042, that appears to be safe from our first phase-one trial and which reduces levels of the toxic protein that builds up in patients’ brain cells and is believed to trigger the disease,” says Huntington’s expert Professor Sarah Tabrizi of University College London. “It’s a great step forward.”

Medicynical note: If the trial shows the drug to be effective in delaying or mitigating Huntington’s, there is a compelling public interest that it be freely available to those at risk of this uniformly disabling ultimately fatal disease. The cost, emotional and financial, of this disease is incalculable. As such the drug patent and right to produce and market should be publicly owned and the drug provided at a nominal cost to all potential (gene positive) people. The devil of course is in the details and is of course easier to solve, financially and ethically, in the context of nation health schemes.

Rudy: it was Collaboration not Collusion

According to Giuliani, it was OK to share information with the Russians and vice versa, an open collaboration rather than a secret collusion, and that’s OK.

“Rudolph W. Giuliani, President Trump’s personal attorney, said Sunday that there is “nothing wrong” with a campaign accepting information from Russians, defending the Trump team’s efforts to obtain damaging material about Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton during the 2016 race.”

“There’s nothing wrong with taking information from Russians,” Giuliani said in an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “It depends on where it came from.”

MEDICYNICAL NOTE: Manafort you recall was convicted of sharing polling info with the Russians. So a two way sharing with another country, our sworn enemy, was OK according to Giuliani and I guess the Trump campaign.

Of Course the Media Was Right

“But mostly what makes the report seem old news is that it is … mostly old news. That is, the report produced by the special counsel’s office consists in large part of details confirming reports that have circulated for months, or years. And that’s really the biggest news of the week—we were right. Christopher Steele was right. The FBI agents who suspected Trump’s campaign was reaching out to Russia were right. Reports that Michael Flynn, and Donald Trump Jr, and Jared Kushner were trying to build a “back channel” for secret communications with the Kremlin were right. Stories that the Paul Manafort shared private polling data with a Russian agent were right. The reports about Carter Page were right. The reports about George Papadopoulos were right. The stories about Donald Trump’s ongoing efforts to build a giant tower complete with personal space for Vladimir Putin and an Ivanka-branded spa were right. And every story of Trump trying to hide evidence, destroy evidence, suborn perjury, and simply end the investigation … they were all right.

Medicynical note: The purveyors of Trump’s news were of the FOX, Limbaugh and Breibart ilk. It turns out they dissemble, distort and invent…………really really fake news.

Losing Influence–the Trump Effect

When your leader has no credibility other countries take advantage.

Medicynical note: Under Trump’s Presidency the US has undermined its allies and encouraged its competitors in almost all corners of the world. We’ve isolated our friends in Europe by attacking NATO and the European Community. In the Middle East we’ve abrogated the Iranian nuclear agreement, covered for assassins from Saudi Arabia and encouraged the apartheid state in Israel. We’ve engaged in a trade war that has helped China find alternatives to U.S. products. We’ve treated our best friend Canada like an enemy and done our best to encourage China and Russia’s advances in South America. Trump’s America First policy has meant a profound loss of U.S. influence and prestige throughout the world.

Boeing’s Sin

More than you really want to know about a design flaw in Boeing’s 737 MAX.

“So Boeing produced a dynamically unstable airframe, the 737 Max. That is big strike No. 1. Boeing then tried to mask the 737’s dynamic instability with a software system. Big strike No. 2. Finally, the software relied on systems known for their propensity to fail (angle-of-attack indicators) and did not appear to include even rudimentary provisions to cross-check the outputs of the angle-of-attack sensor against other sensors, or even the other angle-of-attack sensor. Big strike No. 3.”

“None of the above should have passed muster. None of the above should have passed the “OK” pencil of the most junior engineering staff, much less a DER.”

“That’s not a big strike. That’s a political, social, economic, and technical sin.”

Medicynical note: Poor design, inadequate corrective measures= two crashes with hundreds dead.

Ignore the contrite humbleness, this mega corporation is selling an inherently unstable product.

No Allies, No friends, Whimsical and Uninformed…….Guess Who

The outgoing French ambassador to the US has compared the Trump administration to the court of King Louis XIV, filled with courtiers trying to interpret the caprices of a “whimsical, unpredictable, uninformed” leader.”

“Gérard Araud, who retires on Friday after a 37-year career that included some of the top jobs in French diplomacy, said Donald Trump’s unpredictability and his single-minded transactional interpretation of US interests was leaving the administration isolated on the world stage.”

“When they say ‘America first’, it’s America alone,” Araud said in an interview with the Guardian. “Basically, this president and this administration don’t have allies, don’t have friends. It’s really [about] bilateral relationships on the basis of the balance of power and the defence of narrow American interest.”

Medicynical note: The abyss of Trumpism. Don’t know how he saw this administration as whimsical?

Trump denied any contact (him or his campaign) with Russians

Trump was the Russian candidate for president. In spite of publicly denying any contact numerous times…….

Donald J. Trump and 18 of his associates had at least 140 contacts with Russian nationals and WikiLeaks, or their intermediaries, during the 2016 campaign and presidential transition, according to a New York Times analysis.

Medicynical note: Imagine FOX faux news’ reporting if a Democrat’s campaign had even one secret contact with Russians…….or if Barack Obama had secret talks with Saudi leaders (whose country you recall supplied 18 of the 9/11 terrorists). Oh the horror.