Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Ben Carson has ideas about the Supreme Court. Be afraid.

Hi, people. Notice anything different about the Howdygram today? We have NEW COLORS, a NEWISH BANNER and a REALLY HAPPY BLOGGER who loves tweaking her designs as much as she loves Cheetos and lime Jell-O (not at the same time). This is so much fun I almost can’t stand it! The following graphic illustrates today’s biggest tweaks.
For the next couple of days I’ll probably continue to update a few of my intensely popular sidebar graphics with the new color palette. Come back often and tell your friends, okay?

So today we’ve got a story about Dr. Ben Carson, that frightening goon in the 2016 Republican clown car whose mysteriously (and abundantly) funded campaign has been circling the drain for months. Dr. Ben decided this morning to “weigh in” with his ideas about the Supreme Court and filling the vacancy left by Antonin Scalia, because brain surgeons are really smart and know how to think good.
Problem number one: Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, NOT the Constitution. The Constitution was written by James Madison. Idiot!

Sayeth Ben: “You know, it kind of highlights one of the problems that we have, and that is that the Supreme Court has become a political tool. That wasn’t the intention originally, when things were put together.”  

When things were “put together?” WHAT things? Are you referring to the Articles of our Constitution, you fucking moron?

Also sayeth Ben: “I think we need to relook at the whole Supreme Court issue, because it has become completely different than was intended. And we need to be looking at term limits for Supreme Court justices, when we enacted that program the average age of death was 47.”

So when did the Supreme Court become a “program,” Ben? It’s a permanent branch of our government! And are you advocating mandatory death sentences for Supreme Court justices on their 47th birthdays? What the fuck!

It’s time for this pathetic jackass to fall off our radar already. And I still want to know where the hell he gets all this money for his campaign.

And now for the latest news about prescriptions that can kill you. I will focus today on two popular, hideously overpriced “designer” blood thinner medications — Xarelto and Pradaxa — that were developed and marketed as 21st century alternatives to Coumadin, a tried and true medication used by millions for almost 60 years. The problem is, nobody really needed an alternative to Coumadin because it’s cheap and it works just fine. Xarelto and Pradaxa, on the other hand, make you bleed to death internally and die. And there’s no antidote.
About a year ago I was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation and my cardiologist wanted me to start taking Pradaxa. He said it’s better than Coumadin because I won’t have to horse around with a monthly fingerstick blood test to monitor my coagulation time ... but he also added that Pradaxa is really expensive so he’ll get me a “discount card” from the drug company to offset the co-pay, which would be about $75 a month. I said NO FUCKING WAY. I don’t mind doing the fingerstick blood test at home (I eventually bought a meter and testing supplies) and would rather take Coumadin’s generic version (Warfarin) at $10 for a 90-day supply instead of a fancy-ass designer drug for $75 so his office can get a kickback. I turned down the chance to take Pradaxa. And thank God I did.

Pradaxa first became available in October 2010. Within the first year thousands of patients suffered devastating side effects and hundreds of people died. This included gastrointestinal, rectal and brain bleeding even though the drug was marketed heavily as safe and effective. Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals eventually paid a $650 million settlement while cleverly denying any wrongdoing. Because nothing says you’re innocent like a $650 million payout!

As for Xarelto, it was first approved in 2011 as a temporary blood thinner for patients who had knee or hip replacement surgery. Following a fast-track regulatory review, the FDA approved the drug for general treatment of other conditions even though (no shit!) the most severe side effects of Xarelto is uncontrolled internal bleeding. And when uncontrolled bleeding occurs near a major organ — i.e., your brain, lungs or kidneys — blood flow to that organ is interrupted or cut off completely, causing it to STOP FUNCTIONING. Important fact: Death of a major organ is a severe health risk. Duh!

For the record, I’ve had some previous experience with killer meds. When I was first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2008 my internist prescribed a brand new designer drug called Actos with an insane monthly co-pay. I gained close to 100 pounds in six months, suffered severe muscle pain, uncontrollable diarrhea and wheezed so hard when I walked around the house I almost passed out. Bottom line? Actos is off the market (finally!) and the target of a class-action lawsuit for causing HEART FAILURE and BLADDER CANCER.

Here’s something else, guys. Apparently a “popular class” of over-the-counter heartburn meds might raise a senior citizen’s risk of dementia! Called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), these drugs include Prilosec, Nexium and Prevacid, and they work by lowering the amount of acid produced by the stomach. However, German researchers have discovered that people 75 or older who take these medications regularly had a 44% increased risk for dementia as compared with seniors not using the drugs at all. THIS COULD BE HUGE.
Earlier studies have already linked another type of antacid — H2 blockers like Tagamet, Pepcid and Zantac — with an increased risk of dementia, so many doctors began recommending PPIs instead. Some days you just can’t win.

And finally ... I’ve got three new free fonts to share with y’all today! I think I’ll enjoy “Horchata” and “Tamarindo” for greeting card designs for The Howdygram Store, and “Newcastle” includes a whole bunch of interesting styles and weights. Download links appear after the graphic.

Thank you for reading this and have a really, really nice life.

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