Leahy introduces bill to ‘help fix’ broken campaign finance system

first_imgVermont Business Magazine Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) Wednesday joined Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) in introducing bicameral legislation that addresses a series of comprehensive democratic and electoral reforms to restore integrity, accountability, and transparency to our broken political system.  Counterpart House legislation, also introduced Wednesday, is led by Representative David Price (D-NC). The We The People Democracy Reform Act is more expansive than past versions and includes proposals to comprehensively reform campaign finance laws, increase transparency and accountability in the political system, end extreme partisan gerrymandering, increase voter participation, and strengthen lobbying and revolving door laws.A summary of its provisions is available here(link is external).Leahy said:  “Dark, unaccountable money is flooding our elections and damaging our democracy, advancing the special interests of large, anonymous corporations at the expense of hardworking Americans.  This is happening at the same time that voters are routinely disenfranchised by arbitrary rules and even discriminatory policies. The We the People Democracy Reform Act would help level the playing field by shining a spotlight on corporations that secretly influence our elections, and by protecting Americans’ fundamental right to vote. I am proud to again cosponsor this vital legislation in defense of our democracy and the rights of all Americans to have their voices heard.”  Leahy is the chief sponsor of separate legislation to restore the Voting Rights Act after the Supreme Court stripped away some of its key provisions.  Leahy, as chairman of the Judiciary Committee in 2014, steered a proposed constitutional amendment through the committee to reverse the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, which opened the spigots for massive and anonymous campaign contributions.Udall, the chief Senate sponsor, said:  “Our democracy has reached a crisis point.  The American people are losing faith in our electoral process and in our institutions –- because they’ve seen too much evidence that our government no longer answers to ordinary citizens. Disastrous Supreme Court decisions have opened up the floodgates for secret, special interest money to drown out the voices of regular people. Foreign adversaries are interfering in our elections. Voting rights are under attack across the country. And big money donors are being rewarded with cabinet posts, high-ranking positions and special access. It’s long past time that we took action to restore confidence and accountability in our democracy. The ‘We the People Democracy Reform Act’ will empower us to take back our democracy and return it to the hands of all Americans, instead of a privileged, powerful few.”This new legislation builds upon a number of bills introduced by Leahy, Udall, Price and many others to address various shortcomings in our voting and political system. The package would make significant strides toward repairing the broken political system, which has diminished public confidence in their government and depressed voter participation. The bill also will serve as a model for states and localities to implement reforms at the local level.In addition to Leahy, the Senate bill is cosponsored by Senators Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), Angus King (I-Maine), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD).             The bill has received endorsements from The Brennan Center for Justice, Common Cause, Democracy 21, the League of Women Voters, People for the American Way, the Center for American Progress, and Public Citizen, as well as policy leaders such as Norman Eisen, board chair of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) and chief White House ethics lawyer for President Obama (2009-2011) and Richard Painter, chief White House ethics lawyer for President Bush (2005-2007). Additional information about the We the People Democracy Reform Act is available here(link is external). Read quotes from supporters of the bill here(link is external). Source: WASHINGTON – (WEDNESDAY, Sept. 27, 2017) – Senator Patrick LeahyVBM vermontbiz.comlast_img read more

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The real reason why financial services ads show more women

first_imgby. Ron ShevlinA recent Harvard Business Review blog post titled Why the Financial Services Industry Is Showing More Women in Its Ads contained the following:“Financial institutions portray women today as competent and self-confident, and often feature attractive, middle-aged advisors talking to couples in which the woman is similarly well dressed and clearly attentive. It makes sense for advertisers to present women as strong, well-educated consumers. This is appealing to women who see an attractive self-image reflected back at them, and to men, who are flattered by the idea that smart, self-possessed, and financially secure women are their own life partners. But it’s not all ‘optics’–more and more women are actually taking on breadwinning roles. Of course, it’s not enough to show women in their advertisements; the next step is for FIs to effectively engage women with products and services tailored to their needs and desires.”My take: I’m tempted to say that the article totally misses the real reason, but there was one passing sentence that forces me to temper my critique, and say that the article mostly misses the real reason.What is that reason? Simply this:In a large percentage of American households, it’s the female head of household who manages the family’s finances, and who takes the lead role in deciding who the family does its financial-related business with. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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Moulton ready for history

first_imgMoulton ready for historySara Moulton will become the team’s all-time wins leader with a victory. Daily File Photo; Jaak JensenMinnesota pitcher Sara Moulton winds up to throw a pitch against Indiana on Saturday, May 4, 2013, at Jane Sage Cowles Stadium. Jared ChristensenFebruary 13, 2014Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintDominating opposing hitters is nothing new for senior pitcher Sara Moulton, and this year has started no differently.In the Gophers’ season-opening tournament last weekend, Moulton tossed 21 shutout innings. In doing so, she picked up three wins and tied the Gophers’ career wins record.This weekend, the senior from Eagan will have ample opportunity to claim the wins record as her own when the Gophers travel to Las Vegas for the Sportco Kick-Off Classic.She said she didn’t even know last weekend that she’d tied the record.“I wasn’t aware of it until somebody mentioned it on the bus after the game,” she said. “I try not to look at my stats. Last year, I didn’t look at them once, and I have the same plan for this year.”Whether she puts stock in her statistics or not, Moulton’s numbers have been as impressive as any pitcher in program history. She ranks near the top of Minnesota’s all-time list in strikeouts, wins, ERA, complete games and innings pitched.Gophers head coach Jessica Allister said Moulton brings confidence when she steps up to the rubber.“She brings a sense of calmness to the circle,” Allister said. “We know we have a shot to win every game when she takes the field.”That confidence was echoed by junior infielder Tyler Walker, who led the team in home runs a year ago. “[Moulton] will carry us defensively,” she said. “And that really helps us play confidently and loosely offensively.”So far, that confidence has translated into results for both Moulton and the Gophers, and the team has jumped out to a 5-0 start this year.While the team expressed excitement over the hot start, Walker said she knows there is plenty of progress to be made.“We are excited about last week,” she said. “We have to build on it — and now that it’s under our belts, we can relax and play loosely.”This week, the team will have a few tough games, including one against No. 1 Florida.“UNLV put up a lot of runs last week, and BYU is regularly a top-25 team,” Allister said of the first two opponents of the weekend. “We’ll get excited for Florida when it’s time.”As for Moulton, she’ll be focused on winning games this weekend, not on the goal of breaking a school record.“My goal is to just pitch my heart out,” she said, “and get as many wins for this team as I can.”last_img read more

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Innovation: Who Else Is Doing It?

first_imgBloomberg:Everyone applauds innovation. At least, they love it in retrospect, after it has worked. Before that, it’s just somebody’s wild idea that competes with every other wild idea for resources and support. What sounds great in the abstract seems risky when translated to a specific unproven idea. For that reason, executives who tell me that they want more innovation sometimes ask, as their first question, “Who else is doing it?” Or they say, “We want more innovation; we just don’t want to be the first.”I hate to point out the irony to them. Guys, innovation means maybe no one else is doing it. You might have to be the first. And that might be a good thing.Read the whole story:  Bloomberg More of our Members in the Media >last_img

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Half of veterans who died from opioid overdoses also received benzos

first_imgShare on Facebook LinkedIn Share on Twitter Share Emailcenter_img In a recent study, nearly half of all veterans who died from drug overdoses while prescribed opioids for pain were also receiving benzodiazepines, or benzos, which are common medications for the treatment of anxiety, insomnia and alcohol withdrawal. Veterans prescribed higher doses of benzodiazepines while concurrently receiving opioids were at greater risk of overdose death than those on lower doses of benzodiazepines.The results of the study by researchers from Rhode Island Hospital, Boston Medical Center, and the Veteran Affairs Ann Arbor Healthcare System were published online in the BMJ today.“The risk of receiving both opioids and benzodiazepines during this six-year period was approximately four times higher than in those who received opioids alone,” said Tae Woo Park, M.D., attending physician at Rhode Island Hospital. “From a public health perspective, this is deeply troubling, because drug overdoses are a leading cause of death in the U.S. and prescribing benzodiazepines to patients taking opioids for pain is quite common. In 2010, 75 percent of pharmaceutical-related drug-overdose deaths involved opioids. As we learn more about pharmaceuticals and how they interact with each other, we can try to reduce the risk of harm to patients.” Pinterest The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is the largest integrated health care system in the U.S., serving nearly nine million former military personnel across 150 hospitals and 800 outpatient centers. Patient records of veterans who died from drug overdoses while receiving medical services as an outpatient at the VHA between October 2004 and September 2009 were examined for the relationship between the opioids and benzodiazepines when prescribed concurrently.Common opioids include the well-known brands Vicodin, Percocet and OxyContin; and the generic formularies are morphine, codeine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, fentanyl and methadone. The most common brands of benzodiazepines are Xanax, Valium and Klonopin, and common generic forms are alprozolam, chlordiazepoxide, clonazepam, diazepam, lorazepam and temazepam. The drugs are often used for treating anxiety disorders, insomnia and alcohol withdrawal.last_img read more

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Stewardship / Resistance Scan for Feb 20, 2018

first_imgCARB-X announces first award for 2018, two more funding roundsCARB-X, a public-private collaboration that supports companies in early-stage antibiotic discovery and development, recently announced its first funding award for 2018 and provided details about two funding rounds for the current year.CARB-X said in a Feb 15 announcement that it is funding Curza, based in Salt Lake City, to support the development of a new class of antibiotics to treat a broad spectrum of life-threatening gram-negative bacteria that are resistant to currently available antibiotics. Curza’s initial award is worth up to $2.2 million, with the possibility of $1.8 million more if it achieves certain milestones.Kevin Outterson, JD, executive director of CARB-X, said in a statement from the group, “Curza’s new class of antibiotics is an exciting addition to the Powered by CARB-X portfolio as it has been decades since the last new class was approved to for gram-negative bacteria.” Curza’s CZ-02 series is designed to kill bacteria with known resistance to other ribosomal antibiotics by binding to a clinically undrugged and highly conserved site on the bacterial ribosome.The drugs have a unique mechanism that maximizes penetration of bacterial cells that leads to potent activity against drug-resistant ESKAPE pathogens, which include Enterococcus faecium, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Enterobacter species.In another CARB-X development, the group today announced two funding rounds, one open from Mar 22 through Mar 29, targeting new classes of direct-acting small-molecule and large-molecule antibacterials that target certain gram-negative bacteria. The second round is open from Jun 1 through Jun 8 and includes direct-acting therapies and a broader scope of vaccines, drugs, diagnostics, and devices that meet certain criteria.Outterson said, “The scope of each funding cycle has been carefully designed to meet the most urgent needs in the global pipeline to treat drug-resistant bacterial infections and respond to the rising threat of drug resistant bacteria.”Feb 15 CARB-X press release Feb 20 CARB-X press release MRSA bacteremia rates higher in states with more African-AmericansA new analysis of hospital-onset methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia (HO-MRSAB) rates suggests that states with more African-American residents have higher incidence, researchers reported yesterday in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.In the study, researchers looked at state-level HO-MRSAB data for the year 2013 obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and at census-derived demographic and socioeconomic variables. Although variations in HO-MRSAB rates among states have been explained by differences in the quality of infection-control practices, the researchers wanted to evaluate whether risk factors that have been well-studied at the individual level (including race, age, gender, and diabetic status) affect variations among populations.Univariate analysis demonstrated significant positive correlations between HO-MRSAB rates and poverty rates, income inequality, percent of the population with diabetes, and the percent of the population that self-identify as African-American. But on multivariable analysis, the researchers found that African-American identity was the only variable that retained statistical significance.While acknowledging that the findings suggest only a correlation and require further investigation, the authors of the study say that identifying population-level risk factors for HO-MRSAB is the first step toward developing risk-adjustment tools that would allow for more meaningful comparisons among states and more accurate estimates of the contribution of infection-control practices. Feb 19 Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol abstract FAO warns about antimicrobial resistance in Asia-PacificDiseases originating in animals (called zoonotic diseases) and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) are converging in Asia-Pacific nations and threatening human health, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific warned today.”We need to take action on AMR now because it affects us all,” Juan Lubroth, DVM, FAO’s chief veterinarian and AMR coordinator, said in an FAO news release. He added that antimicrobial overuse and misuse in humans and animals are resulting in the spread of AMR, which is complicating the treatment of many infectious diseases.”Antibiotics and other antimicrobials are vital to treat sick animals and to protect public health by preventing the spread of disease and by keeping pathogens off our plates,” Lubroth told delegates at the Prince Mahidol Awards Conference in Bangkok, where the theme of this year’s annual conference is AMR and emerging infectious diseases.”Governments have a responsibility to their country and to the global community to step-up and ensure that adequate regulations for antimicrobial use and distribution are in-place and enforced,” said Lubroth, “This responsibility extends to providing incentive programmes and enabling mechanisms to help farmers transition away from an unsustainable dependency on antibiotics.”The FAO is working with Asia-Pacific countries such as Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos, the Philippines, and Vietnam to develop and implement National Action Plans on AMR to raise awareness, promote good practices and legislation, and boost surveillance. The agency has also developed and piloted the Assessment Tool for Laboratories and Antimicrobial Surveillance Systems (ATLASS) in Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam to help them assess their national AMR surveillance systems and laboratories.Feb 20 FAO regional office news release Study finds anti-parasite drug effect against drug-resistant StaphInvestigators looking at the performance of three anti-parasite drugs against Staphylococcus aureus discovered that one of them, ivermectin, demonstrated potent anti-staphylococcal activity against some Staphylococcus isolates, including one that was resistant to methicillin and cefoxitin, according to a study today in Antimicrobial Resistance & Infection Control.Canadian and Pakistani researchers tested ivermectin, levamisole, and albendazole against 21 S aureus isolates from bovine milk collected in Lahore and Faisalabad, Pakistan.They found that ivermectin but not the other drugs exhibited a potent anti-staphylococcal activity at the concentrations of 6.25 and 12.5 micrograms per milliliter against two isolates. One of those isolates was sensitive to methicillin and cefoxitin, while the other was resistant to the two drugs.The authors conclude, “Our novel findings indicate that ivermectin has an anti-bacterial effect against certain S. aureus isolates. However, to comprehend why ivermectin did not inhibit the growth of all Staphylococci needs further investigation.”Feb 20 Antimicrob Resist Infect Control studylast_img read more

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‘PG’ becomes X-rated as Irish banks play hard ball

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Ethereal Sparkle & Experimental Works

first_imgMeghan Boody’s “Trésor (Dear Dame, your sleeping sparkes awake).” William Ris Gallery in Jamesport will host the opening of “Neverlands,” an exhibit by Jeff Muhs and Meghan Boody on Friday, October 11, from 6 to 9 PM. Muhs, a South Fork resident, and Boody, from the North Fork, will be exhibiting for the first time together, representing both shores of the East End. There will also be an artist talk on Saturday, November 2, from 1 to 3 PM, when the two will share their backstories. Until then, Indy caught up with the artists.What does the title, ‘Neverlands,’ mean to you?Jeff Muhs: Meghan and I each have our own mythos to our work. Meghan has the characters that occupy her work, their journeys, their condition. My mythos is in the paint and color, their character, and the story I tell with them. Each of our works lie somewhere in the “Neverlands” of our own creation.Meghan Boody: To me, “Neverlands” is a twilight zone, an alternate plane that exists parallel to ours. It’s a magical place we often visit in our dreams where the normal laws of reality are suspended. Sometimes we get lucky during our day and the veil momentarily lifts and a glimmer of the mystery bleeds through. These are moments of déjá vu and synchronicity that often illuminate our path. As an artist, I try to capture this fleeting beauty.Is there a particular piece that you’re excited to show?JM: I will have two brand new paintings in the exhibition. They represent the latest incarnation of my work. I also will be bringing several small-scale experimental works that may be the forerunner for my next series.MB: I am excited to be showing some transparent photographs printed on plexiglass that I made over the summer. They are like large glass slides and can be hung in front of windows. The natural light activates each image, lending an ethereal sparkle to the otherworldly characters and scenes. The photos are blow-ups of individual cards from my PsycheSuperStar oracle deck (similar to a Tarot deck). Each manipulated image aims to capture the essence of familiar mythic archetypes that are imbedded in our collective imaginations. So if any of these images looks strangely familiar to you, they are doing their job.How does creativity strike?MB: For me, creativity is the life-blood of existence. Not just for artists, but for everyone on the planet. There is great creativity in a master plumber, surgeon, parent, or anyone who is interested in developing their craft. The creative genius hidden inside everyone is directly linked to the divine. Our life’s mission is about tapping into this source.JM: I think rather than a flash of inspiration, creativity for me is wound up like energy in a spring over time, building up to a breaking point, and then is unleashed.How do you feel your work will complement the other artist?JM: While my work and Meghan’s, on the surface, might seem very different, we have, in the past, acknowledged some underlying commonality. While not completely identified, this exhibition gives us the opportunity to explore that connection further.MB: Jeff Muhs and I go way back. In the early 1990s, I posted an ad in the Southampton Press for volunteers to pose nude with their pets for a series of photographs. Jeff and his best friend, Brad, responded. They appeared at my studio with a humongous sow along with a knapsack of Oreos — bribes which were necessary, as this pig was not budging without incentives. Brad was the one who stripped down and we had a hilarious time trying to choreograph a decent shot. (The piece is part of the show.) I mention this incident as an indication of how willing Jeff is to venture into, shall we say, unusual territory. I have been told I have the same tendency. I believe our work together will create a particular blast of intensity!What do you hope to discuss during the talk on November 2?MB: By experiencing art, people open themselves up to the process of transformation. Simply exposing oneself to the symbols, archetypes and color in a work can have a lasting impact on the psyche and trigger shifts in behavior. I hope to engage the audience in a conversation about these fascinating possibilities. To get the ball rolling, I will be giving readings from my oracle deck to volunteers.JM: I think we might discuss our association, what we think of each other’s work, and how it led to the genesis of this exhibition.“Neverlands” will run through November 9. William Ris Gallery is located at 1291 Main Road in Jamesport. Visit www.williamris.com. Sharelast_img read more

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RenewableUK: Hull Factory Opening Marks New Era for Britain’s Offshore Wind Industry

first_imgRenewableUK says today’s official opening of Siemens’ new offshore wind plant in Hull represents a major stride forward for Britain’s rapidly-expanding offshore wind sector.RenewableUK’s Chief Executive, Hugh McNeal, who is attending today’s ceremony, said: “Innovative, large-scale manufacturing for Britain’s offshore wind industry, as Siemens are doing here in Hull, is a key part of our nation’s modern industrial strategy”.“It’s great to see a major international company building on Yorkshire’s proud manufacturing history. Siemens is one of many trailblazers investing in this sector right across the UK. Offshore wind developers are committed to maximising the amount of locally-made kit in their projects, to ensure that we all reap the economic benefits of renewable energy – including opportunities to export, capitalising on Britain’s global lead in offshore wind”.The £310 million redevelopment of Alexandra Dock by Siemens and Associated British Ports will create 1,000 jobs, some 700 of which have already been filled by local people. The site, which is the size of 78 football pitches, includes a factory which will manufacture blades 75 meters long and a dockside plant assembling turbine towers 82 meters tall.“The offshore wind industry is bringing well over £20 billion in investment to the UK over the course of this decade, creating thousands of new jobs, from apprentices taking their first steps into high-tech, to experienced workers making the transition from the oil and gas sector into renewables”, McNeal said.Within the last few weeks, JDR Cables in Hartlepool announced that it has won a major contract to design and manufacture subsea power cables for what will be the world’s biggest offshore wind farm, off the coast of East Yorkshire. In Belfast, Harland and Wolff secured a significant deal to supply steel foundations to a project off the Suffolk coast. MHI Vestas Offshore Wind on the Isle of Wight has announced it is recruiting 70 extra workers to manufacture turbine blades. CS Wind based in Campbeltown in Scotland is recruiting 160 more staff supplying turbine towers for Siemens as well as other international companies, RenewableUK highlighted.last_img read more

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