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A dirty word

first_imgIn addition to Democrats and Republicans, Americans have the choice to align themselves with a wide variety of established parties. There is a huge list of political parties in the U.S. including everything from the ‘Communist Party of the United States’ to the ‘United States Marijuana Party’.* This is one of the beautiful things about being an American. We have the liberty and freedom to plant our flag and advocate for our beliefs and causes. Of course even with all these options our federal legislature (save two Senators) is comprised wholly of Democrats and Republicans. Some of this is the electorate and some of this are particular state rules and laws that make it difficult for outside parties to get on ballots.We can easily acknowledge and accept the fact that our American brethren can join whatever party they want and believe what they want to believe, so why then, is something as simple as bipartisanship a dirty word among representatives of our two major parties? Why is believing in compromise and working together increasingly a detrimental trait for elected officials? One of the main reasons for this is the system that many of our states use to create political districts. The vast majority of states use a method of drawing Congressional districts that relies heavily on a system that is, by design, heavily political. Of course this has not always been the case and does not always have to be the case in the future.When state legislatures are tasked with drawing Congressional districts it simply opens the door for partisan gerrymandering that works to make districts non-competitive. When districts are gerrymandered to the degree that many are, it is a detriment to the representatives in those districts to reach across party lines to get things done. I, along with many Americans, am appalled at the ineffectiveness of our federal legislature. I also have over forty years in Washington and can remember many years when this was not the case. A time when we could send people to Washington and they could work with their colleagues to represent the interests and make deals and compromises to get things done.We, as the voting public, have the ability to change the system. We don’t have to sit back and wait for the courts to look at these issues. Just as we get out the vote on specific credit union and social issues, we can go to our state legislatures and local elected officials and make redistricting a priority. There are options for redistricting that would help immensely. From geographic methods to creating more bipartisan commissions to draw the district lines, there are ways forward that will not just allow, but force our federal officials to work together and move our country in a positive direction.If we continue with the current approach, each side refusing to compromise and deriding bipartisanship, gridlock will continue. America will suffer! The best chance to realize our country’s true potential, now is the time to demand bipartisanship from our leaders.*Note of interest: The Tea Party, is not a registered political party. It is considered a movement. 3SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Daniel Mica Dan Mica, former head of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), established The DMA Group as a means to combine a myriad of experience into a one-stop consultancy. Elected in … Web: www.dmagroupdc.com Detailslast_img read more

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NEWS SCAN: New pan flu framework, 4-strain flu vaccine trial, rinderpest lab stock destruction, cholera in Cuba

first_imgDec 10, 2012CDC framework assesses emerging flu pandemics for both spread and severityA key lesson learned from the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic was that plans and severity scales did not address the severity of the novel strain. In response, a team of CDC experts has developed an evidence-based framework for assessing the public health impact of flu pandemics as they emerge, with a two-tier approach recognizing that transmissibility and severity are hard to assess early in a pandemic, according to a report in Emerging Infectious Diseases. The team reviewed data from past flu seasons and pandemics to characterize severity and transmissibility based on the US experience. They outlined an approach to assessing the potential effects of a novel influenza virus using a broad dichotomous scale in the initial assessment but then refining the tool with more precise values as more data become available. This more refined assessment would have scaled values of severity and transmissibility plotted along an x-axis and y-axis, respectively, and could be stratified by age to reflect different effects on different age-groups. “By organizing and prioritizing data collection,” the authors write, “this approach may inform an evidence-based assessment of pandemic effects and guide decision making.”Dec 8 Emerg Infect Dis reportSanofi trial supports immunogenicity, safety of quadrivalent flu vaccineSanofi Pasteur’s quadrivalent influenza vaccine (QIV) containing two influenza B strains performed comparably to two trivalent vaccines (TIVs) in a phase 2 clinical trial assessing immunogenicity and safety, according to a report in Vaccine. The company in October filed for US approval of the vaccine. (A quadrivalent intransal vaccine from MedImmune was approved in February.) TIVs contain just one B strain, but it’s difficult to predict which of the two influenza B lineages—Victoria or Yamagata—will be more common each flu season. The trial compared the QIV with the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasonal flu vaccines, which contained single B strains (one Victoria, one Yamagata). Adults, 190 in each group, were randomly assigned to receive one of the three vaccines. Antibody titers (measured by hemaggluination inhibition) in the QIV group were noninferior to those in the TIV groups. In addition, rates of seroprotection (antibody titer over 40) and seroconversion (a fourfold or greater rise in titer after vaccination) were similar in all three groups. The QIV left recipients with substantially higher B antibody levels than each group of TIV recipients had for the B strain not contained in their vaccine. As for safety, the incidence and severity of solicited injection-site and systemic reactions and adverse events were similar in all the groups.Dec 8 Vaccine reportOct 18 CIDRAP News item about Sanofi filing for its QIVOIE chief repeats call for destruction of rinderpest lab stocksThe chief of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) today repeated calls for most laboratories to destroy remaining stocks of rinderpest virus, which causes a devastating disease in cattle and was eradicated in 2011, the first time humans have ever snuffed out an animal disease in the wild. Bernard Vallat, DVM, OIE director-general, made the comments at the Biological Weapons Convention Meeting of States Parties in Geneva, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported. In July the OIE and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) issued a joint call for labs across the world to destroy any remaining virus samples or ship them to high-security OIE/FAO labs for storage. Vallat told AFP that dozens of labs house the virus, including some that don’t adhere to strict biosafety standards, which poses a risk of an accidental or intentional release.Dec 10 AFP storyJul 23 CIDRAP News scan “OIE, FAO call for destruction of rinderpest virus stores”In related news, Vallat today urged weapons convention members to strengthen veterinary services as a way to protect the world from biologic threats related to animal pathogens, according to an OIE press release. “The best way to protect the entire world from rising bio-threats linked with animal pathogens is to ensure that all national veterinary services comply with OIE international standards on quality. This must be a basis for bio risk management policies,” Vallat said in the statement.Dec 10 OIE press releaseHurricane flooding sparks more cholera in CubaParts of Cuba are experiencing a rise in cholera and dengue infections in the wake of flooding caused by Hurricane Sandy, according to a Dec 8 report from the Miami Herald that quoted several dissidents in the country. The spike in activity follows a summer outbreak centered in the eastern city of Manzanillo that was Cuba’s first in a century. The current wave of infections has targeted the eastern third of Cuba, and though the government hasn’t issued any public statements about the outbreak, it has established hand and shoe disinfection stands at the entrances of government buildings, with some public health workers going to houses to assess for disease symptoms and distribute water purification tablets. Sources told the Herald that at least 12 deaths had been reported and that cholera cases have recently led to quarantines at hospitals and prisons and closures at schools and restaurants. Also, the report said police stationed at hospitals are asking visitors to keep quiet about cholera and other diseases, apparently to avoid hurting Cuba’s tourism industry.last_img read more

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Tiger Woods Pulls Out of Next Two Tournaments over Back Spasms

first_img Related Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images(NEW YORK) — Ongoing back spasms is keeping Tiger Woods from competing in his next two scheduled tournaments.“My doctors have advised me not to play the next two weeks, to continue my treatment and to let my back calm down,” Woods, 41, said in a statement Friday. “This is not what I was hoping for or expecting.”Woods began suffering from the back pain last week while he was competing in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic. He ended up withdrawing form the tournament before he began his second-round of play.He will now skip the Genesis Open next week in Pacific Palisades, California, and the Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida the following week.“I am extremely disappointed to miss the Genesis Open, a tournament that benefits my foundation, and The Honda Classic, my hometown event. I would like to thank Genesis for their support, and I know we will have an outstanding week,” Woods said.Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.Powered by WPeMaticolast_img read more