Big Pharma

Oh dear, who would believe such a thing?

CR Bard Inc. (BCR) sold vaginal-mesh devices made of a plastic that its manufacturer warned wasn’t suitable for human implantation, according to unsealed court records.

Managers at Bard’s Davol unit used a resin-based plastic made by a Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. unit to produce hernia-repair mesh after the material’s supplier officially registered a warning that it shouldn’t be permanently implanted in people, according to e-mails and documents in a lawsuit over Bard’s implants. Plaintiffs suing Bard contend the same mesh was used in some of Davol’s vaginal-mesh products.

In 2004 and 2007 e-mails filed in federal court in West Virginia, a Davol executive warned colleagues not to tell Chevron Phillips or other resin makers that the company was using the material in medical devices placed in humans.
Suppliers such as Chevron Phillips “will likely not be interested in a medical application due to product-liability concerns,” Roger Darois, the Davol executive, now a Bard vice president, said in a March 2004 e-mail. “It is likely they do not know of our implant application. Please do not mention Davol’s name in any discussion with these manufacturers.”


Unconstitutional, 5-4. Wow.

In a highly anticipated ruling today, the Supreme Court ruled the federal Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional.

“DOMA is unconstitutional as a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the Fifth Amendment,” SCOTUSblog reports.

The 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, was signed into law by President Bill Clinton, barring federal recognition of same-sex marriages for purposes such as Social Security survivors’ benefits, insurance benefits, immigration and tax filing.

Section 3 of the law defines marriage as “a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife” and a spouse as “a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.” That provision had been struck down by eight lower courts before the Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling in United States v. Windsor.

The majority opinion was written by Justice Anthony Kennedy.

In other words, same-sex couples who are legally married will be entitled to equal treatment under federal law– with regard to, for example, income taxes and Social Security benefits.

Chalk isn’t vandalism

No matter what they say. $6000 to clean off what a good rainstorm would have done? I don’t think so:

SAN DIEGO – The case against a North Park man who wrote anti-big bank messages on city sidewalks with chalk will go to trial, a judge decided Tuesday.

Jeff Olson is charged with 13 counts of vandalism and is facing 13 years in jail, as well as $13,000 in restitution fees.

Olson calls the charges heavy-handed and describes what he did as free speech.

“I was encouraging folks to close their accounts at big Wall Street banks to transfer their money local nonprofit, community credit unions,” said Olson.

Surveillance pictures showed him writing on the sidewalks of banks using children’s chalk to promote anti-big bank websites. Olson told 10News he did this more than a dozen times at three different locations in Hillcrest and North Park.

“Free speech is protected; just because you don’t like what it says doesn’t mean that you can’t do it,” he said. “If I had drawn a little girl’s hopscotch squares on the street, we wouldn’t be here today.”

However, the San Diego City Attorney’s Office said Olson broke the law and considered his writings to be vandalism.

They almost stole it

UPDATE: Confronted with the evidence, Republicans finally admitted defeat. Well done, Texas Dems!

But they may not get away with it. Texas Banana Republicans lied and cheated to break Wendy Davis’s filibuster and pass SB5 last night, but it was 12:01 and the special session ended at midnight. Of course, they can always find a crooked judge to rule in their favor, but you never know. After all, 160K were watching live on YouTube. (First, the Boston Marathon shootings. Now, this. Cable news was nowhere to be found, and Old Media is officially dead.)

“At what point must a female senator raise her hand or her voice to be recognized over her male colleagues in the room?” — Senator Leticia Van de Putte

The part you missed, though, was when the entire gallery responded to the chair ignoring a female senator on her motion, and sparked a citizens’ filibuster to delay the vote. For more than 10 minutes, they screamed, yelled, clapped and stomped so loud, the Republicons couldn’t hear themselves. As soon as I get a video, I’ll post it.* It was fucking beautiful.

In the meantime, watch this one. It was like this, only a hundred times louder.

And I think they just energized the Democratic base in Texas, too. Go give money, either to the Texas Dems or to Wendy Davis, who stood for all those hours.

*UPDATE: This is from the final ten minutes. Turn that volume all the way up, because that’s what it sounded like on the livestream:

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