Scott Gottlieb practicing the mandatory
Bush crony expression: The Dubya smirk
“George H.W. Bush deposited so many friends at the Commerce Department that the agency was known internally as ‘Bush Gardens.’” And according to Time Magazine, Dubya’s favoritism and cronyism has even trumped the excesses of his father. Here’s an excerpt from Time’s essential article published this week; “How Many More Mike Browns Are Out There?”
Nowhere in the federal bureaucracy is it more important to insulate government experts from the influences of politics and special interests than at the Food and Drug Administration, the agency charged with assuring the safety of everything from new vaccines and dietary supplements to animal feed and hair dye. That is why many within the department, as well as in the broader scientific community, were startled when, in July, Scott Gottlieb was named deputy commissioner for medical and scientific affairs…
[Gottlieb's] most recent job was as editor of a popular Wall Street newsletter, the Forbes/Gottlieb Medical Technology Investor, in which he offered such tips as “Three Biotech Stocks to Buy Now.” In declaring Gottlieb a “noted authority” who had written more than 300 policy and medical articles, [his official] biography neglects the fact that many of those articles criticized the FDA for being too slow to approve new drugs and too quick to issue warning letters when it suspects ones already on the market might be unsafe…
Jimmy Carter-era FDA Commissioner Donald Kennedy, a former Stanford University president and now executive editor-in-chief of the journal Science, say Gottlieb breaks the mold of appointees at that level who are generally career FDA scientists or experts well known in their field. “The appointment comes out of nowhere. I’ve never seen anything like that,” says Kennedy.
Gottlieb’s financial ties to the drug industry were at one time quite extensive. Upon taking his new job, he recused himself for up to a year from any deliberations involving nine companies that are regulated by the FDA and “where a reasonable person would question my impartiality in the matter.” Among them are Eli Lilly, Roche and Proctor & Gamble
Read the whole article here.
And just in: evidently Heckuva Job Brownie is still receiving the full FEMA salary.
Permalink » No Comments » by freewilliamsburg Tuesday, September 27th, 2005, 9:38 am
“Cindy Sheehan is a clown. There is no real anti-war movement.”
Yet an estimated 150,000 to 300,000 antiwar protestors stormed the streets of D.C. on Saturday. We were happy to be in attendence. As Steve Earle noted during a performance at the mall on Saturday, not only is there an antiwar movement, the desire to pull out of Iraq is slowly becoming mainstream.
Permalink » 34 Comments » by freewilliamsburg Monday, September 26th, 2005, 10:12 am
Ever wondered what it looked like inside the McCarren Park pool in Williamsburg? Now’s your chance to find out. Check out Agora while the weather is still nice. Click here for more info about Agora.
Also, as mentioned before (and apparently we are the only New York blog covering this) the antiwar rally and concert takes place in DC on Saturday. The free concert will feature:
3:50 PM – Wayne Kramer and the Bellrays
4:41 PM – Steve Earle
5:31 PM – The Coup
6:23 PM – Sweet Honey in the Rock
7:09 PM – The Evens (Ian from The Make-Up)
7:54 PM – Ted Leo+Pharmacists
8:50 PM – Head Roc
9:37 PM – Thievery Corporation
10:59 PM – Pure Belly Dance
11:27 PM – Bouncing Souls
12:12 AM – Le Tigre
Head on down if you can. The bus is 25 bucks.
Permalink » 4 Comments » by freewilliamsburg Friday, September 23rd, 2005, 10:10 am
We don’t know what’s more bizarre, the fact that Hoff wants to rap or that Ice-T and Hoff are close friends. God help us if P.Diddy decides to join forces with Tony Danza. The last thing we need is another East Coast/West Coast rivalry.
Ice-T is to produce David Hasselhoff’s first hip-hop album.
The pair are neighbours in Los Angeles and are said to have struck up a close friendship.
Hasselhoff has had some success as a singer, releasing seven albums. He’s also said to be very popular in Germany.
Ice-T, who was one of the first real hip-hop stars in the late 1980s, said: “The man is a legend. And we are going to show a whole new side of him.”
The rapper is said to be convinced that the 51-year-old for Knight Rider and Baywatch actor can take on the biggest names in rap, reports The Sun.
Ice-T added: “He’s gonna come out as Hassle The Hoff – I promise you. The Hoff will surprise people with his rap skills and humour.”
Permalink » 4 Comments » by freewilliamsburg Thursday, September 22nd, 2005, 12:18 pm
[image via Gawker click to enlarge]
This is from the National Enquirer, so of course it’s probably not true, but we couldn’t resist running it nonetheless:
Faced with the biggest crisis of his political life, President Bush has hit the bottle again, The National Enquirer can reveal.
Bush, who said he quit drinking the morning after his 40th birthday, has started boozing amid the Katrina catastrophe.
Family sources have told how the 59-year-old president was caught by First Lady Laura downing a shot of booze at their family ranch in Crawford, Texas, when he learned of the hurricane disaster.
His worried wife yelled at him: “Stop, George.”
Following the shocking incident, disclosed here for the first time, Laura privately warned her husband against “falling off the wagon” and vowed to travel with him more often so that she can keep an eye on Dubya, the sources add.
“When the levees broke in New Orleans, it apparently made him reach for a shot,” said one insider. “He poured himself a Texas-sized shot of straight whiskey and tossed it back. The First Lady was shocked and shouted: “Stop George!”
“Laura gave him an ultimatum before, ‘It’s Jim Beam or me.’ She doesn’t want to replay that nightmare ‚Äî especially now when it’s such tough going for her husband.”
Bush is under the worst pressure of his two terms in office and his popularity is near an all-time low. The handling of the Katrina crisis and troop losses in Iraq have fueled public discontent and pushed Bush back to drink.
Read the rest of this entry »
Permalink » 3 Comments » by freewilliamsburg Thursday, September 22nd, 2005, 9:41 am
A reminder that this Saturday there will be a huge march for peace in DC. It will be followed by a free concert featuring:
Ted Leo and The Pharmacists, Le Tigre, Bouncing Souls, Steve Earle, The Coup, The Bellrays, and many others on the Washington Monument grounds.
Strangely, none of the New York bloggers are covering this event thus far. Here’s our two cents on political marches… they are generally not very effective since the media and right wingers portray participants as dirty, Lefty, nutjobs. Nevertheless, showing other nations that not everyone in this country approves of the Iraq war and George Bush is extremely important. The Bush administration wants to ignore and censor protest. What’s more important than exercising free speech in these creepy times? Don’t be a cynic, head on down if you can. Click here for more.
Permalink » 16 Comments » by freewilliamsburg Wednesday, September 21st, 2005, 9:46 am
The First Amendment Project is hoping to raise some scratch for free speech via an Ebay auction. Winners get to have their names included in upcoming literary works by Stephen King, Rick Moody, Dorothy Allison, and many more. This sounded like a great idea until we read what the staggeringly pretentious Dave Eggers was offering.
[Via Gawker] The winner will be featured in a strange illustrated story I’m working on called The Journey of the Fishes Overland. The winner, or someone of her/his choosing, will be encountered by the traveling fish in question, as they travel over land. It could also be a family, a house, an address, whatever. I get to decide why the fishes see this person/place, and what’s said by/to or done by/to the person/place. This story will be finished and published in the fall. That name/s have to be tasteful and undisruptive to the narrative. I reserve the right to refuse using a name I find offensive.
Would it be an affront to free speech to bar The Journey of the Fishes Overland from being written? Check out the auction here. Sounds like a cool and creative way to raise money for a great cause.
Permalink » 2 Comments » by freewilliamsburg Tuesday, September 20th, 2005, 9:58 am
CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll:
58% Disapprove Of Bush’s Overall Performance
59% Call Iraq Invasion A Mistake
67% Dissaprove Of Bush’s Handling Of Iraq War
41% Chance Christopher Hitchens admits he was wrong about the war and/or overdoses on pills
Permalink » No Comments » by freewilliamsburg Tuesday, September 20th, 2005, 9:48 am
Sure, the incredibly talented — and, incidentally, incredibly nice — Anton Newcombe has a notoriously short fuse (see Dig!), but getting your van and equipment stolen is enough to piss anyone off. Give the band their shit back. We were hoping to see Brian Jonestown Massacre play an all acoustic show tonight at Pianos. Hopefully, the show will go on. More on the theft via Brooklyn Vegan. (We tried to catch BJM at Northsix for CMJ on Saturday, but when we arrived at the club at 1am some Wiccan, Black Sabbath obssessed band named Witch who was slotted before them was still setting up. We were too drunk to hang around and were afraid of Witch’s drummer who looked like a cross between Garth Algar and a professionally certified chaotic evil D&D dungeon master with infinite hit points.)
Drunk fans love to heckle Anton, knowing he’ll lash out. Warning: he may kill you if you heckle him Tuesday night if the show goes on as scheduled. In the mean time, be on the look out for these things on Ebay and in pawn shops.
Permalink » 8 Comments » by freewilliamsburg Tuesday, September 20th, 2005, 9:47 am
Interview by Monte Holman
Giant Drag is slacker noise-pop duo with a propensity for shrugging satire. Annie Hardy plays the guitar, spread thick with effects pedals. She drawls the vocals with a permanent half-smile and half-shut eyes. Micah Calabrese plays drums, saving his left hand to ring out the synth bass lines. The final product is fuzzy pop in slow motion that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
The duo just released their first LP, Hearts and Unicorns (Kickball Records). The songs on the record have a nice mix of low-fi warmth and polished production, which is evidenced in a huge wall of sound.
We chatted with Annie and Micah while they were here for CMJ. Things started off poorly when, a couple questions into the interview, the bouncers at Northsix kicked everyone out of the club to check for wristbands. Annie was starving, and the band had nearly rumbled with a sound guy the night before, so prospects for conversation looked shaky. Luckily, Annie and Micah have a sense of humor and are as friendly and upbeat as you’d imagine after hearing their record.
Stream Hearts and Unicorns here. Despite the band’s ironic, self effacing name, it’s a great debut. Check them out October 6 at Irving Plaza with Stellastar.
FREEwilliamsburg: Some songs on Hearts and Unicorns, particularly “Cordial Invitation” have a certain My Bloody Valentineness to them, which is surprising coming from a band made up of two people. How do you translate that lush fullness live?
Micah: We turn up the delay pedal a little more. (laughs)
Annie: We don’t really try to match the album. It’s like the album and the live show are two different entities. Live, you get to establish a relationship with the people in the room.
FREEwilliamsburg: How do you try to establish that relationship?
Micah: Usually Annie’s on the mic telling jokes.
Read the rest of this entry »
Permalink » 5 Comments » by freewilliamsburg Sunday, September 18th, 2005, 6:36 pm