Arthur Lee with a song from his seminal album “Forever Changes”. Lee was a huge influence on Jimi Hendrix but never reached the same level of acclaim:
I wonder how many towns around America are dying now. Iris DeMent:
I don’t understand why people are fixated on the idea that flying should be a pleasant experience. Because it’s so expensive to fuel a plane, they cram in far too many seats and yeah, it sucks — but the gain is, flying is much more affordable than it was in the old days.
I no more expect a comfort zone on a plane than I do on a bus. It’s something to be endured until I get where I’m going.
The problem we have here is that for eight years, pharmaceutical companies went from random FDA inspections to free-market “self reporting.” This is actually a good sign, because it means the FDA has gone back to doing its job:
Just a month after a top executive of Johnson & Johnson promised a “cooperative and transparent dialogue” with the Food and Drug Administration, FDA inspectors found themselves stymied when seeking records at J&J’s Lancaster plant.
According to an inspection report for the plant released Wednesday by the FDA, inspectors said they were confronted by numerous delays when seeking records concerning drug production and controls.
Even something as basic as an organizational chart for the plant was not readily available, according to the report.
“Organizational charts were requested on 06/28/10 and requested approximately 10 times before receiving full information on the structure/organization on 07/01/10,” according to the report.
In all, the report identified 11 shortcomings at the plant, including unavailability of records, inadequate procedures for properly cleaning equipment, and failure to adequately follow through on consumer complaints of “multiple and repeated” instances where the wrong product wound up in retail packages.
In a written statement concerning the FDA report, J&J said it “takes the issues raised by the agency seriously and is fully committed to addressing their concerns as rapidly as possible. We will provide a detailed response to the FDA and work diligently to address all observations.”
The problems, while notable, did not rise to the level of those found at the McNeil Consumer Healthcare plant in Fort Washington, said an FDA official who asked not to be identified. McNeil is a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson.
Those problems, identified during an FDA inspection in February, triggered a temporary closing of the plant and the recall of 146 million bottles of children’s medications, including pediatric Tylenol, Motrin, and Benadryl. Last week, McNeil announced that it was laying off 300 of more than 400 employees of the plant. On Tuesday, Louise Mehrotra, J&J’s vice president for investor relations, told financial analysts that the company had been served a federal grand jury subpoena in regard to the plant.
The Lancaster facility is a joint venture with Merck & Co. Inc. It is operated by J&J’s McNeil unit. Like the Fort Washington plant, it produces over-the-counter medications. Among the products made there are heartburn medications Pepcid and Mylanta.
The Lancaster plant was inspected between June 22 and July 9, about a month after Colleen A. Goggins, worldwide chairwoman for J&J’s consumer group, testified before the U.S. House of Representative’s committee on Oversight and Government Reform that McNeil was committed to revamping its operations to ensure the quality of its products. It was then that she also promised continued cooperation with the FDA.
You know what drives me nuts? When bureaucrats talk about “the economy” as if one portion is separate from (and more important than) what affects ordinary people. It’s as if a doctor told a patient, “Well, you still have malignant cancer cells spreading in all your major organs — but look how nicely your sprained ankle is healing!”
If people don’t have jobs, are losing their homes and can’t afford to feed their families, and the numbers of people in those straits continue to grow, the economy is not recovering. Can we please cut the crap? If you shove a pile of dirt under the rug, you didn’t “clean” — you simply moved the problem to a different location. When are we going to stop pretending that the banking system isn’t still a house of cards?
Saying the economic outlook was “unusually uncertain,” Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke predicted that unemployment was likely to remain stubbornly high for several years, straining families and endangering the nation’s economic stability and competitiveness.
“Long-term unemployment not only imposes exceptional near-term hardships on workers and their families; it also erodes skills and may have long-lasting effects on workers’ employment and earnings prospects,” he said Wednesday in his semiannual testimony to Congress.
“This is the worst labor market, the worst episode, since the Great Depression,” Bernanke said of long-term unemployment. “Not only for the sake of the unemployed and for the short-term strength of the economy but also for a long-term viability in international competitiveness, I think we need to be very seriously concerned.”
Though Bernanke painted a bleak picture for the millions of jobless workers, he said the U.S. economy was continuing to recover at a moderate pace. And for now, he said, the central bank was holding off on taking further actions to stimulate the economy.
A series of economic data in recent weeks have pointed to slowing economic growth, fanning fears of a return to recession and prompting speculation that the central bank may be gearing up to buy more securities or initiate other moves in an effort to spur lending by pushing already low long-term interest rates even lower.
We already fought this fight. Apparently we have to fight it all over again.
In case you didn’t see Robert Gibbs “answer” questions about the Sherrod firing yesterday (and even if you did), go read Driftglass’s version.
Just in case you’ve never heard Dolly Parton’s original version of the song Whitney Houston made a smash hit: