Monday, March 4, 2013

Hannity Just Keeps On Digging

On the drive home today I picked up a tad of Hannity's malarkey, after a fairly long musical interlude due to some kind of problem with the satellite. I was hoping maybe Mr. Obama has just pressed some button and shot the fucker down, but apparently not. As he said the other day, he's not a dictator or a despot, just President.

Hannity was talking with former Congressman and highly successful I'm sure black conservative J.C. Watts, about how the sequester really hadn't had any consequences, so haha, it's just like the millennium, Y2K all over again. It's hard work. The right needs to convince everyone that these cuts don't make any difference. It's like whispering to boiling frogs. Meanwhile, in the real world, Charlie Pierce writes the following today at his Esquire Politics Blog (which you can click to off my links any time you want, and you should do that frequently:

Everyday Miracles
By Charles P. Pierce
at 4:45PM

Anyone who had Mississippi in the In What State Will A Cure For AIDS Be Found? Pool may stand to win an awful lot of money.

The infant underwent remission of HIV infection after receiving antiretroviral therapy, or ART, within 30 hours of birth. Medications used were Zidovudine, Lamivudine and Nevirapine. A series of tests showed progressively diminishing viral presence in the infant's blood until it reached undetectable levels 29 days after birth. Gay switched Nevirapine with Kaletra for long-term therapy. The infant remained on antiviral drugs until 18 months of age, then became hard to follow up with for a while and stopped treatment. Ten months after discontinuation of treatment, the child underwent repeated standard blood tests, none of which detected HIV presence in the blood. "At that point the mom admitted that she had not been giving the medicine for several months, and I expected the baby's viral load to have gone back up," Gay said. "But, when we drew the test we got back still an undetectable viral load. That was a surprise to me."

As is obvious, a program like the one in which this infant was treated requires a great deal of time and effort and, yes, money -- and even then, the infant in question fell off the radar for a while. This money, for Mississipi and everywhere else, of course, is presently being held hostage in Sequesterland.

Laboratories at major universities and medical centers are already laying off scientists, even before the latest round of cuts is scheduled to take effect. And local public health officials, hit by years of cutbacks, are scaling back immunization campaigns and other efforts to track and control infectious diseases. "They are doing cuts on top of cuts on top of cuts," said Eric Hoffman, director of the Center for Genetic Medicine Research at Children's National Medical Center in Washington. Hoffman's labs have had to delay several major projects, including new research into muscular dystrophy in children.

But we're going to keep the carried-interest deduction, so it's all good. Our great-grandchildren are going to disown us entirely and claim we are an extinct species, like the Neanderthal.

As usual, Hannity and his employers assume that each individual loss and wound will only be noticed by a very tiny minority of us. For the rest of us, things are pretty much as they were Saturday. It's an incremental assault, small bits of the boat go missing, but the water's still "down there."

You have to wonder how long this is going to take, and how much will be lost. Those two guys looking at the test tube? They might have to shut it down and get jobs doing something else. That green stuff they're looking at will get flushed or otherwise destroyed, along with whatever information it might contain. That might just be really too bad, possibly even for Mr. Hannity, and that tiny cellular oddity he hasn't even noticed developing where the sun don't shine. Just sayin'.

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