Sunday, May 28, 2017

"The only way we made it was with a great big old bag of Mexican reds and two gallons of Robitussin HC. Five reds and a slug of HC and you can sleep through anything."

"The accent comes up out of Nashville, by way of Georgia, makes a dash across the States and ends up vaguely California. He sounds a bit like Kris Kristofferson; looks uncannily like his late brother, Duane. The hotel television is on; the sound is off. It is late, and the black and white movie – something surely about horror and death at this small hour – glows up on Gregg Allman's tired face like a moonscape in Macon's Rose Hill Cemetery."

Greg Allman has died, and while the obituaries are worth a look, so is this 1973 essay by Cameron Crowe for Rolling Stone.

“I promise you. I will pay for the legal fees. I promise. I promise.”

Now this is a novel lawsuit. A white nationalist who shoved a black protester at a Trump rally after Trump shouted "Get 'em out of here!" has filed a suit against Trump. He wants Trump to indemnify him.

From the New York Times: 

In a separate lawsuit filed last month, Mr. Heimbach, 26, demanded indemnity from Mr. Trump, saying he was responsible for any injuries Mr. Heimbach might have inflicted because Mr. Trump directed him and others to take action. The suit also requests that Mr. Trump pay Mr. Heimbach’s legal fees, citing a promise Mr. Trump made at an earlier rally to pay legal costs of anyone who removed protesters.

Plenty of people have sued Mr. Trump over the years, but the president has probably not previously faced quite such esoteric legal arguments, not to mention a demand for payment from someone who says he represents the white working-class voters who helped propel him into the White House.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

State authorities are investigating treatment of mentally ill emergency patients at UMN Fairview

From KSTP News:

State safety investigators have opened a review of emergency room operations for mentally ill patients inside the University of Minnesota-Fairview Riverside Medical Center, KSTP has learned.

An investigator from the Minnesota Office of Safety and Health Administration inspected the same ER locked section where a 15-year-old mentally ill and developmentally-disabled girl was sexually assaulted by a mentally ill male patient last November, according to a hospital source. 

Nothing to see here, a hospital spokesman says:

"Regulatory agency visits are part of the routine and important work all health systems do," wrote Fairview spokesperson Camie Melton Hanily. 

But KSTP says not to believe the spin.

Generally, OSHA investigations of hospitals are sparked by complaints when staff and patients feel they are in imminent danger of workplace violence. OSHA also reviews employee complaints about unsafe conditions and conducts surprise investigations when necessary due to deteriorating operations.

The hospital is also under investigation by the Minnesota Department of Health for security breakdowns on the unit where mentally ill children are treated. In two separate cases, four children managed to escape in April from the unit by tampering with magnetic door locks, according to a hospital source.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Glad that's over. Now: who was the leaker?

From the Star Tribune:

Randy Handel, a high-profile University of Minnesota athletics official and fundraiser who violated the school’s sexual harassment policy, will be suspended without pay for two weeks, demoted and face other consequences, the university said Thursday.

 The university’s Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (EOAA) said Handel repeatedly hugged, touched and made inappropriate comments to a female employee without her consent.

 The university released a heavily redacted seven-page report that goes into detail about the allegations, Handel’s response and the office’s findings and analysis.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Letter of Recommendation: Worst Pills, Best Pills

Anybody whose eyes have been opened to pharmaceutical industry deception and the complicity of medical journals will have a natural question: Where should I go for solid, spin-free evaluations of the drugs that I or my family members are being prescribed?  My answer: Public Citizen's "Worst Pills, Best Pills" database. It costs $15 a year, but that money is well-spent. It's easy to use, reliable, and free of industry funding.

Texas approves feral hog hunting by hot air balloon

I think I know where I am going for my next vacation.