Canadian researchers studied the US. We probably did not surprise them eh.
A major nationwide study of women's experiences during pregnancy and childbirth finds that about one in six pregnant women experience some sort of mistreatment by healthcare professionals, and that women of color are much more likely to get yelled at or scolded. Other factors that lead to poor treatment include disagreeing with a doctor or midwife about the best course of treatment and having a partner who's black -- regardless of the woman's own race. While the study doesn't correlate the shabby treatment with actual maternal or infant health outcomes, it sure seems of a piece with last year's ProPublica/NPR series that reported on the appallingly high maternal death rate for black women, which is four times higher than mortality for white mothers. That public health crisis is finally getting attention from Congress, too.
The "Giving Voice to Mothers" study, focusing on "inequity and mistreatment during pregnancy and childbirth in the United States," was published in the journal Reproductive Health Tuesday, by a team of researchers led by Saraswathi Vedam, of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, which would explain why the authors keep typing "women of colour." The team developed its questionnaire -- with input from patients -- using seven categories of mistreatment of pregnant women identified in a 2015 study by the World Health Organization. Of the 2,700 women surveyed, the researchers found:
The president is very angry at the moon RN.
Is it fair to make fun of a really dumb thing President WordsBad tweeted, when we actually kind of know what he's trying to say, but he's just saying it inartfully, just like he says everything inartfully?
HAHA DON'T CARE, IT'S FRIDAY.
Of which the Moon is a part.
Everybody point and laugh at the president! He thinks the moon is part of Mars! And for some reason he is traveling on Air Force One right now, and he is MAD AT THAT DANG MOON.
Vote smart: It's only life on Earth.
Elizabeth Warren, look what you've done! Suddenly, EVERYBODY is releasing great big policy papers so they can try to keep up with you. Way to go -- now all we need to do is let the cable shows know that there are plenty of ideas to talk about in this election, not just stupid "electability" nonsense. Haha, we are a dreamer like you!
Yesterday, Joe Biden released a great big climate plan, and it is good! And Elizabeth Warren, who's been incorporating climate action across several policy proposals instead of doing one single climate document, released a biggie, a proposal for expanding American industry in green manufacturing, exports, and trade policy. Let's take a look at both of 'em!
It's a gas, gas, gas.
Up until now, the tenure of Rick Perry at the Department of Energy has been pretty low-key. At least, it's been quiet apart from the early reports that Perry thought he'd be secretary of the Awl Bidniss, as Molly Ivins always called it, only to find out that the top job at the Energy Department isn't so much "ambassador for fossil fuels" as it is "making sure the nuclear weapons don't go boom." (You'd think he'd know better than to trust a name, since back in Texas, the "Railroad Commission" has little to do with choo-choos and is all about the aforementioned awl bidniss.)
Still, the Energy Department does have a hand in oil and gas, too, which is why it periodically issues routine press releases about expanded exports of natural gas, touting what an economic boon that is for, say, a Liquefied Natural Gas facility in Texas. Exports! Jobs! And, of course, FREEDOM GAS.
Here is the actual text from yesterday's DOE press release touting -- or tooting -- this miraculous new substance:
Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) advanced its commitment to promoting clean energy, job creation, and economic growth by approving additional exports of domestically produced natural gas from the Freeport LNG Terminal located on Quintana Island, Texas [...]
"Increasing export capacity from the Freeport LNG project is critical to spreading freedom gas throughout the world by giving America's allies a diverse and affordable source of clean energy. Further, more exports of U.S. LNG to the world means more U.S. jobs and more domestic economic growth and cleaner air here at home and around the globe," said U.S. Under Secretary of Energy Mark W. Menezes... [emphasis added -- Dok]
Another line in the press release offered yet another inventive way to refer to boring ol' natural gas. See if there's enough America in this paragraph!
We have always been at war with Eggheadia.
The New York Times reminded us this weekend that Donald Trump's war on reality continues apace, as his administration seeks to subvert climate science once and for all. The latest front in the effort? How about taking away all the bad news from the government's official reports on climate, since they just get everybody down?
The real meat of the reporting gets at two efforts in particular: A move to make sure the next National Climate Assessment is stripped of the worst-case scenarios for what will happen if fossil fuel usage continues at present rates, and a directive from James Reilly, director of the United States Geological Survey, to make sure his office's climate reports make no projections beyond 2040, because all the most extreme results of climate change are expected to come after that. Both are disturbing, but fucking around with the National Climate Assessment is likely to have the greater impact. That interagency report, which is updated every four years or so, is the basis for a lot of environmental law and regulations, so if you can gut it, you can screw with actual policy for years, hooray!
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Elijah Cummings, Activists Beat Big Pharma Over The Head With Generic PReP
A Nice Time!
The pharmaceutical giant Gilead Sciences, Inc. -- heck of a name for these times -- recently announced US sales of a generic version of its HIV prevention drug Truvada would begin a year earlier than originally planned. The stepped-up schedule for the generic was at least in part the result of pressure from activists, who have made a lot of noise about the fact that Gilead's huge revenues from Truvada -- about $3 billion annually -- came only after the basic research for the drug was done at taxpayer expense, largely through grants from the Centers for Disease Control, which holds the patent on the drug.
At a House Oversight Committee hearing last week, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez let one of the witnesses, Gilead CEO Daniel O'Day, know she wasn't personally blaming him or his greed for the high cost of the drug, which prevents the spread of HIV through "pre-exposure prophylaxis" (PrEP). No, that's all a result of the terrible incentives that come from the fact that the US, alone among developed countries, treats healthcare as a commodity, not a right for all. Which is why a monthly supply of Truvada costs nearly $1800 here, and roughly eight dollars in Australia.
The Environmental ForFucksSake Agency.
Under the Trump administration, the Environmental "Protection" Agency has adopted the vital mission of doing everything it can to prop up the dying coal industry, largely because 1) Coal CEO Robert Murray is among Donald Trump's best billionaire buds and 2) every last trace of Barack Obama's presidency must be eradicated. To that end, the New York Times reports the EPA is now planning to "change how it calculates the health risks of air pollution," to make it easier to reverse Obama's "Clean Power Plan" regulations and replace them with far dirtier air, for coal company fun and profit. It's remarkably similar to another bit of EPA fuckery from December, when the agency decided it was no longer "appropriate and necessary" to regulate mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants, claiming that the costs of regulating the neurotoxin was very very burdensome and wouldn't provide any real savings by comparison. In both cases, fucking around with the math and redefining pollutants as No Big Deal are at the heart of the agency's claims that coal plants can spew more pollution without doing any harm.
Now, before you freak out, we will not be making you do math. Stop whining, you. Rather, we just want to highlight once again how Team Trump changes the definitions of things to give a great big benefit to dirty energy while insisting that it's "protecting" the environment.
You're gonna want to take a minute with this one.
Yr Dok Zoom had just finished up his piece on Donald Trump's latest Fox News nominee when Yr Editrix had an important message for him! "Uh oh, Dok, you are wrong!"
Well, here at Wonkette, we just HATE being wrong, so we looked at the email Rebecca had pasted right there in the Wonkette Sekrit Chatcave, and blue blistering barnacles, she was right! I had wasted most of yesterday afternoon preparing this morning's long post about Jay Inslee's climate plan for absolutely nothing. While the email wasn't actually about that post, it arrived on the same day, so there's a message, all right.
Green Dreams are made of this. Who are we to disagree?
Washington governor and 2020 presidential candidate Jay Inslee has just published his comprehensive climate policy plan, a whopper of a proposal to restructure the US economy to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2030 and create millions of new jobs in the process. It's a doozy, at 15,000 words, but wow, even if he's not on the 2020 Dem ticket, could the nominee please promise to appoint Inslee as climate czar? The proposal, called the "Evergreen Economy Plan," invokes the New Deal, and is green AF, but doesn't actually use the phrase "Green New Deal," even though it overlaps a whole hell of a lot with the general GND framework. We shall Wonksplain, but first, let's get one thing very clear: Jay Inslee will not outlaw cows.
Why's your granny such a nazi, anyway?
Normal people do not lose their shit over a Facebook post that no one likes. We've all had it happen. Maybe your friends were watching Game of Thrones, maybe they all secretly hate you, maybe they're trying to tell you that paella with raisins is gross, Karen. Similarly, a not-crazy person notices that one of the thousands of people they follow isn't showing up in their Twitter feed and thinks, "Algorithms are stupid. I'll just click over and fave a couple of that guy's posts, and it should work itself out." The White House is not looking for those people.
If you are a paste-munching loon who thinks that @Jack and Zuck are OUT TO CENSOR YOU!!!1!! and steal your many hundreds of very real followers, then the White House invites you to step right this way and speak to the manager immediately!
Bill Nye has had it with you jerks who keep ignoring science, OK? The popular teevee personality and science educator capped off one of John Oliver's excellent deep-dive infocomedy segments on "Last Week Tonight" this weekend with an important message: The climate crisis has driven him to cuss. That's what happens when you combine an existential crisis and widespread denial with premium cable.
By Crom, we ARE going to talk about biodiversity.
The United Nations released a preview of a major "Hey, could we NOT fuck up nature quite so much please?" report today, predicting that habitat loss, combined with global climate change, is on track to lead to the loss of up to a million species in the near future. The full 1500-page report, to be published later this year, focuses not only on the severe consequences for the natural world, but also for us big-brained bipedal ape descendants who seem to think we exist separate from all the other species on the planet. Short version: Yeah, we need to change things or we're in big trouble.
And no, this isn't just a bunch of smelly hippies hugging trees, thank you, as the New York Times explains. The report,
compiled by hundreds of international experts and based on thousands of scientific studies, is the most exhaustive look yet at the decline in biodiversity across the globe and the dangers that creates for human civilization.
Its conclusions are stark. In most major land habitats, from the savannas of Africa to the rain forests of South America, the average abundance of native plant and animal life has fallen by 20 percent or more, mainly over the past century. With the human population passing 7 billion, activities like farming, logging, poaching, fishing and mining are altering the natural world at a rate "unprecedented in human history."
Add climate change into the mix, and the loss of species is likely only to accelerate, particularly by "shifting or shrinking the local climates that many mammals, birds, insects, fish and plants evolved to survive in." Nice wildlife preserve you have here. Bummer all the wildlife is moving outside the boundaries. And yes, this is a fine place to mention that Joshua Tree National Park may soon have no Joshua Trees, and Glacier National Park is getting pretty fucking short on glaciers. Don't worry though -- the Trump administration is taking care of it by downplaying the problem and sidelining park employees who make a fuss about it.
Pinche Ciencia Loca!
First, in early April, JAXA (that's Japan's NASA, duh!) bombs the hell out of an asteroid, then on April 10 we all saw a black hole for the first time, and THEN that same day we found out that we have ANOTHER homo species to add to the bunch! So, yeah, all three of those stories happened last month. Let's cover each in a science lightning round!
SNOWBALLS IN HELL.
The Arctic is in big trouble. The region is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet, with worrying consequences -- like the thawing of permafrost releasing huge amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and speeding up global warming even more. A major new study released in April -- this one surveying changes since 1971 -- put the situation quite bluntly:
The Arctic biophysical system is now clearly trending away from its 20th Century state and into an unprecedented state, with implications not only within but beyond the Arctic.
That's scientist talk for Shit Is Very Bad. So of course we shouldn't be the least bit surprised to learn that the Trump administration has been attempting to strip all mentions of climate change from an international statement that's supposed to be issued next week by the eight nations that make up the Arctic Council. While the rest of the countries with territory in the Arctic think science is real, Donald Trump's very good brain thinks otherwise, and don't you tell him different!
The Arctic Council nations meet every two years to discuss international policy at the top of the world, and they have always issued a unanimous statement about goals and principles like "Maybe we should try not to kill all the sea otters with crude oil" and "Indigenous People have rights, sure, we guess" and "Look! A Whale!" But not this year, reports the Washington Post:
But have we tried reasoning with the climate yet?
Beto O'Rourke went from pretty much zero concrete policy proposals to wow! yesterday with the release of an ambitious plan to leverage five trillion dollars toward getting America to net zero carbon emissions by 2050 -- the reduction in greenhouse gases needed to prevent the very worst outcomes of climate change. The plan aims to get us halfway to that goal by 2030.
It's not exactly the Green New Deal -- and in terms of actual policy proposals, it's actually more detailed than that resolution, which at this stage is more about setting goals than the actual mechanics of reaching them. O'Rourke's plan immediately became the most detailed 2020 Democratic candidate's plan for addressing climate, if only because others are still on the way. It also looks very very doable, although of course the Usual Suspects will proclaim it the end of America.
(This is not about Australia.)
Well, we've fucked up the planet enough and if some species has to take over, and it's not capybaras or dachshunds, then I guess cats are better than cockroaches. And now we have proof that the these purring pendejos have known what the hell's been going on all along. Well, maybe not proof that they get the jokes on "A Closer Look" and just choose to not laugh with us, but evidence that they know their fucking names and choose to not come when we call them. Where is this proof, Carlos? Glad you asked, gentle reader. In none other than Nature, one of the top science journals. Published a couple of weeks ago, I'll give you a summary of the experiment and findings. But first, some backstory!
It seems that scientists have mostly focused on dogs over cats when doing research into how our pets communicate with us. This is probably because dogs are awesome, and everyone loves dogs and cats are satanic vessels for the coming of the anti-Christ … or so I'm told. Don't start the hate-messaging like you all did when I dissed on baseball. This is just what my cat sources are telling me.
©2018 by Commie Girl Industries, Inc