Conflucians Say: The first 100 days and the pandemic panic of 2009

How has Obama done in his first 100 days? Did he meet or fail to meet your expectations?  What is his overall grade?  How about individual performance on the economy, health care, foreign policy, constitutional issues, balance beam and uneven parallel bars?

And for your homework, study this image:

3d_influenza_virus1

There will be a quiz on it later.

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36 Responses

  1. Leaked Email: Texas ER Doctor: Swine Flu Much Worse Than Feared Media Misleading On Swine Flu Facts

    http://countusout.wordpress.com/

    • It would be very helpful if someone would confirm the validity of that email.

      • my daughter Jean just got back from doing her rotation in infectious diseases in Shanghai she’s graduating tomorrow at 2 and then they are all officially on call because of this

        • she said she’d call later on tonight, i’ll see what they’re saying in the Nebraska hospitals at the Med Center, anyway

      • so how are you doing 2night RD

      • A “leaked email” from “name blacked out” that turns up on the internet couldn’t possibly be a hoax, could it?

        • The “To” name was blacked out. The doctor is fully identified fwiw.

        • That email doesn’t quite sound like the usual emails from physicians.

          Also, I’m suspicious because it mentions a couple of remedies which have been “vindicated” to “prevent” influenza or reduce the symptoms — however a Pub-Med search shows just about the opposite.

          Caution: medical wonkiness follows!

          Pub-Med search shows for Oscillococinum:
          “1: Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2006 Jul 19;3:CD001957. Links
          Homoeopathic Oscillococcinum for preventing and treating influenza and influenza-like syndromes.Vickers AJ, Smith C.
          Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Integrative Medicine Service, 1275 York Avenue, New York, NY 10021, USA.

          BACKGROUND: Influenza is a highly infectious viral disease that is particularly common in the winter months. Oscillococcinum is a patented, commercially available homoeopathic medicine. The rationale for its use in influenza comes from the homoeopathic principle of ‘let like be cured by like’. This medicine is manufactured from wild duck heart and liver, which are said to be reservoirs for influenza viruses. OBJECTIVES: To determine whether homoeopathic Oscillococcinum or similar medicines are more effective than placebo in the prevention and treatment of influenza and influenza-like syndromes. SEARCH STRATEGY: We updated the electronic searches on the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (The Cochrane Library Issue 1, 2006); MEDLINE (January 1966 to February 2006) and EMBASE (1980 to February 2006). The manufacturers of Oscillococcinum were contacted for information. SELECTION CRITERIA: Placebo-controlled trials of Oscillococcinum or homeopathically-prepared influenza virus, influenza vaccine or avian liver in the prevention and treatment of influenza and influenza-like syndromes. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two authors extracted data and assessed methodological quality independently. MAIN RESULTS: Seven studies were included in the review, three prevention trials (number of participants (n) = 2265) and four treatment trials (n = 1194). Only two studies reported sufficient information to complete data extraction fully. There was no evidence that homoeopathic treatment can prevent influenza-like syndrome (relative risk (RR) 0.64, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.28 to 1.43). Oscillococcinum treatment reduced the length of influenza illness by 0.28 days (95% CI 0.50 to 0.06). Oscillococcinum also increased the chances that a patient considered treatment to be effective (RR 1.08; 95% CI 1.17 to 1.00). AUTHORS’ CONCLUSIONS: Though promising, the data were not strong enough to make a general recommendation to use Oscillococcinum for first-line treatment of influenza and influenza-like syndromes. Further research is warranted but the required sample sizes are large. Current evidence does not support a preventative effect of Oscillococcinum-like homeopathic medicines in influenza and influenza-like syndromes.” (So, woopdedoo. No prevention; might shorten flu by 1/4 day.)

          N-Acetyl-Cysteine:
          “1: Eur Respir J. 1997 Jul;10(7):1535-41. Links
          Attenuation of influenza-like symptomatology and improvement of cell-mediated immunity with long-term N-acetylcysteine treatment.De Flora S, Grassi C, Carati L.
          Institute of Hygiene and Preventive Medicine, University of Genoa, Italy.
          N-acetylcysteine (NAC), an analogue and precursor of reduced glutathione, has been in clinical use for more than 30 yrs as a mucolytic drug. It has also been proposed for and/or used in the therapy and/or prevention of several respiratory diseases and of diseases involving an oxidative stress, in general. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the effect of long-term treatment with NAC on influenza and influenza-like episodes. A total of 262 subjects of both sexes (78% > or = 65 yrs, and 62% suffering from nonrespiratory chronic degenerative diseases) were enrolled in a randomized, double-blind trial involving 20 Italian Centres. They were randomized to receive either placebo or NAC tablets (600 mg) twice daily for 6 months. Patients suffering from chronic respiratory diseases were not eligible, to avoid possible confounding by an effect of NAC on respiratory symptoms. NAC treatment was well tolerated and resulted in a significant decrease in the frequency of influenza-like episodes, severity, and length of time confined to bed. Both local and systemic symptoms were sharply and significantly reduced in the NAC group. Frequency of seroconversion towards A/H1N1 Singapore 6/86 influenza virus was similar in the two groups, but only 25% of virus-infected subjects under NAC treatment developed a symptomatic form, versus 79% in the placebo group. Evaluation of cell-mediated immunity showed a progressive, significant shift from anergy to normoergy following NAC treatment. Administration of N-acetylcysteine during the winter, thus, appears to provide a significant attenuation of influenza and influenza-like episodes, especially in elderly high-risk individuals. N-acetylcysteine did not prevent A/H1N1 virus influenza infection but significantly reduced the incidence of clinically apparent disease.” (Better than the oscillococinum but still no prevention; does reduce symptoms for about 3/4 of the patients, probably because it is mucolytic, aka mucus-thinning, which was known already.)

          I’m not going to rush out and buy either of these products. But I will continue vigilant handwashing/sanitizing.

          • Ooops, didn’t see the abstract had Dr. Vicker’s email in it; can a moderator remove it? Thanks.

          • Swine flu or no swine flu, I’m not skipping “Pork Night” down at Mom’s Diner

  2. i give berry a Z for zero

    • Agreed. He has done nothing substantial in his 100 days and I expect more of the same for his entire term. On the most important issue, the economy, Obama has proven to be clueless, unwise, and illiberal.

      • I can’t speak to all issues but on the econ side —not so good.

        -Creation of Zombie banks: can we say repeating the mistakes of Japan and the lost decade?

        – Stimulus too small and too many tax cuts

        -Laws need to be rewritten and the SEC needs more power to babysit and standardize derivatives

        and that’s just my top 3 on that

  3. Well isn’t Obama supposed to be the guy who has “superior judgement” — he gets it on day one — what a crock of shit. I am with boogieman — big Z for ZERO.

  4. He has exceeded my expectations: I expected his Presidency to be a blot on the history of the United States, and it is.

  5. Hey gang. I think our fellow PUMA ElderJ is being modest. He has a his own blog now

    The Truth in Black and Right

    http://theblackcommenter.wordpress.com/

    Please support him as he exercises his “right” PUMA paw
    as you have so graciously done so for me.

    Thanks,
    Afrocity

    http://afrocityblog.wordpress.com/

    Whether left or right, together as PUMAs we fight.

  6. I’d give him a knee in the nuts, personally. I think that’s a failing grade in most places.

  7. In one of my old labs, we were solving crystal structures of influenza neuraminidases and neuraminidase+inhibitor(s).

    Ah memories.

  8. BREAKING NEWS:

    David Souter to retire from SCOTUS at the end of this term (June)

    • So Rendel’s wfe stands ready.

    • We were just talking about that on Conflucians say … a middle grounder replaced with hopefully, a liberal

      • Souter isn’t middle ground. He’s a liberal and has stuck in conservatives’ craws because he was appointed by Bush 1. They truly didn’t expect him to be what he was.

  9. I’ve also sat in many lectures and talks on combining xray protein xtallography with EM to get very high resolution structures of viruses.

    • I’m sorry, I don’t speak geek

      • Technical should not be confused with geek. You may not write about scientifically technical stuff but your posts are pretty standard geek.

        Just sayin’…. And you know I love you.

      • I’ll handle this, myiq.

        But there should be several structures available in Brookhaven of the various individual proteins. Are you talking about a structure of the virion itself? Although it would be interesting, it’s not really useful for drug design purposes.

  10. New thread up on Souter

  11. He gets a D from me. His only redeeming area seems to be foreign policy. Unlike the previous occupant he actually seems to know pronunciation(I was surprised to learn that his pronunciation of Pakistan is the actual pronunciation and give him points for that).He seems to understand that our foreign policy is somewhat broken and seems to be attempting a different approach to ME. He appears to be attempting to compete with Hamas in Palestine and he has made it clear to the Israelis that we are not going to automatically be taking their side. He is talking to leaders we have ordinarily snubbed. His appointment of Clinton as SoS was a good choice. She is a good foil for him and I think will be able to offer grounded opinions. I think they are different enough without being diametric opposites to perhaps change the foreign policy without totally radically overhauling it.

    His domestic policy has been an abyssmal failure thus far in my opinion. His whole contribution to freakin’ healthcare was medical records despite the fact we have millions without and the problem is mounting as more and more people lose their jobs. His bailout of the banking community and his pick for Treasury was abyssmal. You do not put a man who can not even figure out how to pay his own taxes in charge of the Treasury. You do not let banks loot the treasury and then say “My bad” when you find out they took advantage of the situation. His stimulus package I fear is too little too late. He should have been putting money into infrastructure back when Clinton suggested it. He didn’t even attempt to make a plausable argument on why it made sense to provide money for family planning instead choosing to throw women to the wolves to placate a bunch of people who STILL didn’t vote for his stimulus. He has not revised conscience rules, he has not acted on FOCA, and his commitment to a constituency that is over half our population is less than laudatory despite Gandy’s propaganda.

  12. Here is a rare find:

    Nude Obama on a Unicon.

    I kid you not.

  13. 100 days?
    Off the top off my head:
    Zombie banks and AIG bonuses
    Chrisler bankruptcy
    2 wars still going on
    Torture becoming political football – merits debated now
    Souvenir photo reenactment of 9.11 at Ground Zero
    Half of cabinet, staff not appointed yet
    Bowing to Saudi King & assorted gaffes
    Ordering pizza from St Louis, re-modeling hotel in Strassbourg
    Record botched nominations
    Strengthening FISA and other ridiculous Cheney “unitary executive” BS
    Shitting on women’s rights

    • Impressive list, edge.

      “Ordering pizza from St Louis”

      And now he asks for suggestions on cutting the budget.

  14. Whew! I’m glad we weren’t actually quizzed on that thingie graphic above. I missed the first half hour of the show so maybe I missed it. I’m not sure I want to know.

    • Biden Flu Advice: Avoid Airplanes and Subways

      No worries, Biden will answer all the technical scientific questions from his basement at his house, in full protective gear to boot, so don’t PANIC!

      My own child asked if it was safe to go to school, since Biden said it wasn’t… ‘Superior Judgment’ my foot. See what happens when you block a ROLL CALL VOTE for the most qualified candidate that just happened to be a woman…YOU GET A JOE BLAH, BLAH…

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