Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Viagra older men and sexually transmitted diseases

seems bad enough that since the emergence of the blue pills, “big mama” has been having problem keeping up with “grand papa” with his new found flirtatious attitude, ponytail, pierce ears and tight leather pants.

The blue pill is now adding another and a more deadly spin to senior relationships. According to the Annals of Internal Medicine, online July 5, 2010, the rate of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in older men taking erectile dysfunction (ED) drugs like Viagra is twice as high as in their non-medicated peers.

The objective of their study was to examine the rates of STDs in men who use and do not use ED drugs. In both groups, however, the numbers are swelling. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were more than six new cases of STDs per 10,000 men over 40 in 2008, up almost 50 percent since 1996.

"Younger adults have far more STDs than older adults, but the rates are growing at far higher rates in older adults," said Dr. Anupam B. Jena of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, who led the study.

The conclusion from the study shows that men who use ED drugs have higher rates of STDs, particularly HIV infection, both in the year before and after use of these drugs. The observed association between ED drug use and STDs may have more to do with the types of patients using ED drugs rather than a direct effect of ED drug availability on STD rates. Counseling about safe sexual practices and screening for STDs should accompany the prescription of ED drugs.

The problem, however, is that older adults appear to flaunt safe sex practices. For instance, the researchers note, 50-year-olds are six times less likely to use a condom than men in their 20s.

"We are typically unaccustomed to practice safe sex over the age of 50, because the risk of pregnancy is eliminated," Jena told Reuters Health.

To test whether the introduction of Viagra in 1998 might explain some of the STD surge, Jena and colleagues examined insurance records for more than 1.4 million U.S. men over 40. The average age in the study was about 60 years.

According to the study, the most commonly found STD was HIV, followed by chlamydia, syphilis and gonorrhea.

African-American Women at a Higher Risk for Pregnancy and Birth Complications

by admin

Premature, delivery is the most frequent cause of infant mortality, accounting for more than one third of all infant deaths during the first year of life. The infant mortality rate among black infants is 2.4 times higher than that of white infants, primarily due to preterm birth. In the United States, the risk of preterm birth for Non-Hispanic black women is approximately 1.5 times the rate seen in white women.

Preterm birth is when a baby is born before 37 complete weeks of pregnancy. Preterm infants who live beyond the first year may suffer more because it is also the leading cause of severe neurologic disability, including cerebral palsy and intellectual disabilities. In addition to the physical and emotional impact resulting from preterm births, recent estimates of the economic costs to society provided by the Institutes of Medicine suggest that at least $26 billion is spent each year for hospitalizations of preterm infants. This estimation of cost does not include the cost of re-hospitalizations and long-term care.

“In terms of the health of women and infants, preterm birth is an important public health priority,” said Dr. Eve Lackritz, Chief, Maternal and Infant Health Branch at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “Preterm delivery is the leading cause of hospitalization among pregnant women, is the most frequent cause of infant deaths, and is a major contributor to the racial disparity in the infant mortality rate.”

Despite continuing efforts to understand and prevent preterm birth, the rate has increased more than 20 percent since 1990 and more than 36 percent since the early 1980s. In 2006 the preterm birth rate rose to 12.8 percent of all births up from 12.7 percent in 2005. This percentile equates to more than 545,000 preterm deliveries out of the 4,265,555 births registered in the United States in 2006; a statistically disproportionate percentage of which were births to non-Hispanic Black women.

A major challenge in decreasing the rate of preterm birth is the lack of knowledge about the causes and effective strategies for prevention. No screening tests exist to accurately identify women who deliver preterm; and approximately one-half of preterm births occur in women with no known risk factors. Explanations presented for the increase in preterm delivery are many and include the rise in the rate of multiple births, the increased use of procedures to manage labor and delivery such as induction of labor and cesarean delivery earlier in the pregnancy, and changes in maternal lifestyle and health.

CDC is engaged in a number of strategies attempting to reduce the rate of preterm births, such as collaborating with outside investigators and state health departments and conducting ongoing research to better understand the social, behavioral, community, genetic, and biologic factors associated with preterm birth and racial disparities, in an effort to identify new opportunities for prevention.

Pregnancy is an exciting time. Knowing that you are doing all you can to stay healthy during pregnancy and give your baby a healthy start in life will help you to have peace of mind. Be sure to see your doctor and get prenatal care as soon as you think you’re pregnant. For more information on healthy pregnancy, call 1-800-CDC-INFO, or read more about this topic on CDC’s website at and for more information on preterm birth go to

Independence Day...

Ah, gentle readers, another holiday weekend has come to a close. And millions of you, unfortunately, are still unemployed. And you went the long weekend without your benefits.

Your MatchGirl, as you know, is lucky enough to have found (after a ridiculously long time) a job. And therefore not to have to worry about living unemployment check to unemployment check and being at the constant mercies of the games being played by politicians. That doesn't mean that I'm not paying attention. And it doesn't mean that I'll stop passing on my musings about it.

In Sunday's New York Times Opinion blog, Paul Krugman writes about Congress' refusal to extend unemployment benefits and puts forth his argument for extending benefits.

Today, American workers face the worst job market since the Great Depression, with five job seekers for every job opening, with the average spell of unemployment now at 35 weeks. Yet the Senate went home for the holiday weekend without extending benefits. How was that possible?

The answer is that we’re facing a coalition of the heartless, the clueless and the confused. Nothing can be done about the first group, and probably not much about the second. But maybe it’s possible to clear up some of the confusion.
By the heartless, I mean Republicans who have made the cynical calculation that blocking anything President Obama tries to do — including, or perhaps especially, anything that might alleviate the nation’s economic pain — improves their chances in the midterm elections. Don’t pretend to be shocked: you know they’re out there, and make up a large share of the G.O.P. caucus.

By the clueless I mean people like Sharron Angle, the Republican candidate for senator from Nevada, who has repeatedly insisted that the unemployed are deliberately choosing to stay jobless, so that they can keep collecting benefits. A sample remark: “You can make more money on unemployment than you can going down and getting one of those jobs that is an honest job but it doesn’t pay as much. We’ve put in so much entitlement into our government that we really have spoiled our citizenry.”

Your MatchGirl has made no secret of her left-leaning, raised-by-Hippies politics. But this is not even a politically motivated post. This is a post about real people in a dire time. This is a post about people who cannot find a job because there are not any.

Was I able to be a bit more choosy about the jobs I applied for because I was collecting unemployment benefits? Of course. I'll admit it. But I sent out hundreds of resumes, for jobs for which I was supremely qualified, for jobs that I was referred to or recommended to by friends, to jobs which I was over-qualified and would take a massive pay cut - because I wanted to get a job. And, the fact of the matter, dear Congress, is that I got three job interviews that were for anything that might be real. I met with numerous staffing agencies who told me they'd get back to me. Impressed as they may (or may not) have been with my resume, the fact is that there were just no jobs.

Mr. Krugman goes on to write:

Helping the unemployed, by putting money in the pockets of people who badly need it, helps support consumer spending. That’s why the Congressional Budget Office rates aid to the unemployed as a highly cost-effective form of economic stimulus. And unlike, say, large infrastructure projects, aid to the unemployed creates jobs quickly — while allowing that aid to lapse, which is what is happening right now, is a recipe for even weaker job growth, not in the distant future but over the next few months.

People who don't have any money in their pockets, no matter where that money may be coming from, can't spend money. They watch their pennies like a hawk (though, they probably should anyway - don't even get me started on the credit crisis, dear ones - as you well know, your MatchGirl is not a fan of people spending beyond their means!). But a couple extra bucks in someone's pocket can go a long way to helping stimulate the economy.

I understand, as does Mr, Krugman, that this extra spending will increase the deficit, slightly, in the short term. But we must ask Congress to look ahead - to stop being selfish - and to extend benefits for those amongst us who are still unemployed. I'm afraid, gentle ones, that, in this year of midterm elections, that the politicians are simply looking out for their themselves, instead of the people who put them into their jobs in the first place.

Is Paul Krugman Heartless, Clueless or Confused (Pick Only One)?

By William A. Jacobson

Paul Krugman reserved July 4 for what must be a deliberate deception, Punishing the Jobless, on the issue of extending unemployment benefits, which recently failed to pass the Senate.

Krugman blames Republicans, whom he terms "heartless":

By the heartless, I mean Republicans who have made the cynical calculation that blocking anything President Obama tries to do — including, or perhaps especially, anything that might alleviate the nation’s economic pain — improves their chances in the midterm elections.
The only problem is that Krugman ignores that Republicans were in favor of extending benefits by taking the money from elsewhere in the budget, including unused stimulus funds. It was the Democrats who balked at this solution, insisting on running up more debt. So the entire premise of Krugman calling Republicans heartless amounts to nothing more than a fiscal policy dispute. Why aren't Democrats heartless for not going along with the Republican proposal?

Next, Krugman terms "clueless" people like Sharron Angle who have mentioned that the welfare state, including unemployment benefits, can create a disincentive for people to take jobs they otherwise would not take. Krugman admits that this is a real phenomenon:

Do unemployment benefits reduce the incentive to seek work? Yes: workers receiving unemployment benefits aren’t quite as desperate as workers without benefits, and are likely to be slightly more choosy about accepting new jobs. The operative word here is “slightly”: recent economic research suggests that the effect of unemployment benefits on worker behavior is much weaker than was previously believed. Still, it’s a real effect when the economy is doing well.
Krugman says this phenomenon is irrelevant in a bad economy, but once again he ignores that Republicans were willing to extend benefits if the benefits were paid for in the budget, not paid for with more money borrowed from China. So who is the clueless one?

Last, Krugman views unemployment benefits as immediately stimulative in the economy, because the money will be spent. That's a fair point, which is why it makes sense to use stimulus funds for this purpose, rather than propping up bloated state governments and union contracts. So Krugman's point actually defeats his point.

Back to the title question. Is Paul Krugman heartless, clueless or confused?


Two New Drops off Rick Ross' "Teflon Don": 'Maybach Music III' ft. T.I., Jadakiss & Erykah Badu & 'Aston Martin Music' ft. Drake & Chrisette Michele

Didn't have time to put up these yesterday, but here we go, the two latest drops off Rick Ross' upcoming album "Teflon Don" that will be released the 20th.

Still thinks that Rick Ross is way past his due date and that if the anticipation on your album is based upon the features your in deep shit. However, here are two of the most anticipated tracks and features of the "Teflon Don", both produced by J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League: 'Maybach Music III' ft. T.I., Jadakiss & Erykah Badu and 'Aston Martin Music' ft. Drake & Chrisette Michele.

Raise A Black Fist

By FITSNews We’ve never met “the man,” but it goes without saying that over the course of American history he has done his part to keep our Nubian brothers down.

Like slavery, for example. And the whole post-Reconstruction era in the South.

Having said that, “the man” should not attempt to compensate for his prior failings by allowing present-day injustices perpetrated by African-American militants to go unpunished. In fact, to do so would be racist – not to mention illegal.

Unfortunately, that appears to be happening as it relates to a voter intimidation case in Philadelphia involving the New Black Panther Party. The case revolves around several “new Black Panthers” who were videotaped outside of a polling place in 2008 dressed in military uniforms and brandishing weapons while they hurled racial slurs at would-be white voters.

It’s about as clear-cut a case of voter intimidation as you’ll ever see, but the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama is now being accused of failing to prosecute the perpetrators because of their ethnicity.

From FOX News:

The testimony from J. Christian Adams, who resigned from the Justice Department last month in protest of the administration’s handling of the case, comes after he made a series of explosive allegations during an interview with Fox News last week. He said the administration abandoned an open-and-shut case of voter intimidation and that Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez gave false testimony before the commission in May.

Adams claims the administration has failed to prosecute non-whites when it comes to voting intimidation cases and that the New Black Panther incident demonstrates that.

“I don’t think the department or the fine people who work there are corrupt, but in this particular instance, to abandon law-abiding citizens and abet wrongdoers constitutes corruption,” Adams told Fox News.


Obviously this sort of thing routinely went unpunished when perpetrated en masse by white agitators in decades past. Which is shameful and something white America will always have to live with. Still, that doesn’t mean in “post-racial” present-day America that we should permit the same behavior.

Justice shouldn’t be revisionist … or hypocritical.

Ringo Starr, Happy 70th birthday

Ringo Starr didn’t want to hear about his birthday. But the crowd at the State Theatre in New Brunswick kept reminding the former Beatle that he had made it to another landmark.

The happy birthday shouts began right after his All Starr Band’s first song concluded on Monday night. Two hours later, the well-wishers were still serenading him. Starr, who turns 70 today and will celebrate the milestone with a show at Radio City Music Hall, accepted these blessings with his usual sardonic humor.

Ramsey Decries Obama's Arizona Lawsuit

Posted by Jeff Woods

Ron Ramsey's knee started jerking as soon as President Obama went to court to challenge Arizona's immigration law. His press release:

“Just when you think it unfathomable that Washington can get any crazier, they announce news highlighting just how out of touch they are with mainstream Americans.

“I’ve said before that I fully back Arizona’s efforts to enforce immigration law and secure their borders from the scourge of violence and crime that illegal immigration is causing in their state. In fact, when I am elected the next conservative Governor of Tennessee, I will enact a similar measure.

“The primary function of the federal government is to protect its citizens from foreign threats and if President Obama won’t act, then governors across this nation will act to protect our citizens."

Mitt Romney: START Could Be Obama’s Worst Foreign Policy Mistake

Former Governor Mitt Romney wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post. He was some tough words for the president.

“Given President Obama’s glaring domestic policy missteps, it is understandable that the public has largely been blinded to his foreign policy failings…He castigated Israel at the United Nations but was silent about Hamas having launched 7,000 rockets from the Gaza Strip. His policy of ‘engagement’ with rogue nations has been met with North Korean nuclear tests, missile launches and the sinking of a South Korean naval vessel, while Iran has accelerated its nuclear program, funded terrorists and armed Hezbollah with long-range missiles. He acceded to Russia’s No. 1 foreign policy objective, the abandonment of our Europe-based missile defense program, and obtained nothing whatsoever in return.

“Despite all of this, the president’s New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New-START) with Russia could be his worst foreign policy mistake yet. The treaty as submitted to the Senate should not be ratified.”

Like other proponents of strong and comprehensive missile defense, Romney believes START limits our missile strategy, despite the administration’s assurances to the contrary.

“Its preamble links strategic defense with strategic arsenal. It explicitly forbids the United States from converting intercontinental ballistic missile silos into missile defense sites. And Russia has expressly reserved the right to walk away from the treaty if it believes that the United States has significantly increased its missile defense capability.

“Hence, to preserve the treaty’s restrictions on Russia, America must effectively get Russia’s permission for any missile defense expansion. Moscow’s vehemence over our modest plans in Eastern Europe demonstrate that such permission would be extremely unlikely.”

Why did President Obama caved to an agreement that benefits mostly Russia? Why is the reasoning behind restricting the defense of our homeland?

“The treaty also gives far more to the Russians than to the United States. As drafted, it lets Russia escape the limit on its number of strategic nuclear warheads. Loopholes and lapses — presumably carefully crafted by Moscow — provide a path to entirely avoid the advertised warhead-reduction targets. For example, rail-based ICBMs and launchers are not mentioned. Similarly, multiple nuclear warheads that are mounted on bombers are effectively not counted. Unlike past treaty restrictions, ICBMs are not prohibited from bombers. This means that Russia is free to mount a nearly unlimited number of ICBMs on bombers — including MIRVs (multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles) or multiple warheads — without tripping the treaty’s limits. These omissions would be consistent with Russia’s plans for a new heavy bomber and reports of growing interest in rail-mobile ICBMs.”

Read the full article at the Washington Post.

Durant Re-Ups With OKC For 5 Years

Wade, Bosh, James blah, blah, blah. So far the re-signing or extensions that have been signed in 2010 have been more exciting than the dull free agency signings and that didn’t change today. Via his Twitter page (@KDthunderup), scoring champ Kevin Durant announced that he has agreed to a five-year contract extension with the OKC Thunder.

“Exstension for 5 more years wit the thunder….God Is Great, me and my family came a long way…I love yall man forreal, this a blessing!”

Terms of the re-up deal are unclear, but should be available by Thursday when players can officially sign their new contracts. Last season at 21 years old, Durant led the league in scoring (30.1 ppg) becoming the youngest player in NBA history to accomplish the feat.

EU banker bonuses capped by European Parliament

By Steve Tarlow

The global economic crisis was caused in no small part by the shenanigans of the banking and investment industries, so the European Parliament has voted 625-28 in favor of EU banker bonuses being capped as soon as possible. Excessive pension payouts will also fall under new guidelines. The Associated Press reports that any short-term cash bonuses from next year will be limited. It’s a move the European Union hopes the rest of the world will follow in kind.

EU bank rule will permit only
partial bonuses in advance cash

From 2011 onward, EU banker bonuses will be limited to up to 30 percent of the annual bonus via advance loan cash. The remaining 70 percent will be held in reserve and paid to the banker if the company performs well. This may create sufficient incentive to lead European bankers away from the path of short-term personal gain rather than long-term customer satisfaction. “There will be no return to business as usual,” EU financial services commissioner Michel Barnier told the AP.

For extra-large bonuses, advance withdrawal is limited to 20 percent

For big banks where executives get bigger bonuses, they can have only 20 percent of their bonuses until company performance is taken into account. However, as the AP indicates, what constitutes a “large” bonus was not spelled out in detail by the European Parliament. The new cap on cash until payday bonuses for European bankers effectively creates rules for all 27 member countries of the European Union for how to deal with EU banker bonuses. Countries like Great Britain, France and Germany reportedly had effective banker bonus caps in place.

Banks must hold a minimum capital amount

By 2012, European Union banks will be required to maintain a minimum level of capital so as to cover risky products like mortgage-backed securities. The Associated Press speculates that European banks would have to hold three to four times the standard level of capital in order to cover such risks. However, banks bound by the new rules are concerned that they’ll end up having to set aside even more emergency cash and will lose out when it comes to profit. The ultimate equalizer – the prospect of another financial meltdown – is simply too horrifying to contemplate.
Associated Press

Rethinking global financial reform – the European perspective:

The War on Michael Steele

by Patrick J. Buchanan

“This was a war of Obama’s choosing. This is not something the United States has actively prosecuted or wanted to engage in.”

Strictly speaking, Republican Party Chair Michael Steele was way off base when he made this remark at a closed-door meeting of party contributors in Connecticut.

For the war began in 2001 under George W. Bush and was backed by almost all Americans, who collectively cheered the downfall of the Taliban and the rout of al-Qaeda from its sanctuary in Afghanistan.

Yet Steele was not entirely wrong.

Today, a majority of Americans do not believe the nine-year war in Afghanistan is any longer worth the rising cost in blood and money. And by declaring it a “war of necessity” and tripling U.S. forces there, this president has made it “Obama’s war” every bit as much as LBJ in 1964 and 1965 made Vietnam “Johnson’s War.”

While Steele has spent every waking hour since his words hit the airwaves explaining, and declaring his commitment to victory, of far more interest is the alacrity with which neoconservatives piled on the chairman, demanding his resignation, while senators castigated him for remarks unacceptable for a Republican Party leader.

William Kristol’s demand for Steele’s resignation was echoed by Charles Krauthammer and Liz Cheney, daughter of the vice president. From Afghanistan, Steele was attacked by Sens. Lindsey Graham and John McCain, who suggested he think again about his capacity to lead the Republican National Committee.

Behind the swiftness and severity of the attacks on one of their own by Republican pundits and politicians are motives more serious and sinister than exasperation at another gaffe by Michael Steele.

The War Party is conducting this pre-emptive strike on Steele to send a message to dissenters. In Krauthammer’s phrase, it is now a “capital offense” for a Republican leader not to support the Obama troop surge and the Obama-Petraeus policy.

Yet a majority of Americans oppose the Afghan war. And the point made by Steele about the futility of fighting in Afghanistan has been made by columnists George Will and Tony Blankley, ex-Rep. Joe Scarborough, Ron Paul, and antiwar conservatives and moderates.

When exactly did supporting Obama’s war policy become a litmus test for loyal Republicans?

What the War Party is up to here is a naked attempt to impose its orthodoxy, about the threat of “Islamofascism” and the Long War, on the entire GOP, 28 months before a presidential election.

Republicans of all persuasions should recoil at such arrogance.

For whence does it come, if not the same hawks and neocons who beat the drums for a unnecessary war on Iraq that cost 4,000 U.S. dead, 35,000 wounded and $700 billion, while making widows and orphans of half a million Iraqis?

And what was that all about? Invading and occupying a country that never attacked us — to strip it of weapons it did not have.

Certainly, as the last nominee of the Republican Party, McCain can claim to be titular leader, as could George W. Bush, or Dick Cheney, Mitch McConnell or John Boehner.

But, if memory serves, the Bush-McCain party was repudiated in landslides in 2006 and 2008, giving Democrats the presidency, the House and a veto-proof Senate. And high among the reasons the country turned on the GOP is that, like Harry Truman and LBJ, the Bush-McCain GOP marched us into wars they could not win and could not end.

This campaign to censure and remove Steele is designed to censor debate and stifle dissent on Obama’s war policy, as long as Obama’s war policy closely tracks the agenda of the War Party.

Should Obama declare that he intends to stand by his deadline and begin pulling U.S. troops out of Afghanistan by July 2011, those Republicans today accusing Steele of not supporting the troops and undercutting the president in wartime would themselves begin undercutting the president.

In November, the Republican Party will make gains. But the party will be deluding itself if it assumes this means America wants a return to the interventionist policies that brought us the Iraq and Afghan wars. The country will simply be saying: We reject Obama’s liberalism as emphatically as we rejected Bush neoconservatism.

Most Americans today approve of the agreed-upon end of U.S. combat operations in Iraq by August and removal of all U.S. troops by the end of 2011, just as they support an American withdrawal from Afghanistan, starting a year from now.

But to contend that those who want the withdrawals to begin sooner, or those who want them to begin later, are unpatriotic and do not support the troops is itself unpatriotic.

The time for Republicans to decide on what the foreign policy of the party and a new administration should be is in the primaries of 2012. Until then, let every voice be heard, including that of Michael Steele.

LeBron Will Make A Decision Thursday On ESPN

by Ricky O'Donnell

LeBron James is planning to announce the team with which he will sign during a one-hour special on ESPN Thursday night, ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard has learned through independent sources.

Those sources said that James' representatives requested they be allowed to sell sponsorship for the one-hour special, with the proceeds going to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, and that ESPN agreed to the proposal but had not been told what James has decided.

Also, there's this from Woj:
LeBron James(notes), Dwyane Wade(notes) and Chris Bosh(notes) are expected to share a conference call on Wednesday to discuss free agency and try to move closer to finalizing their decisions, a league source with knowledge of the plan told Yahoo! Sports.

The three players are motivated to reach resolutions and make their choices public by Thursday, several sources told Yahoo! Sports. The stars and their agents with CAA continued on Tuesday to churn through numerous machinations and possibilities.

"Everything is still in play," the source said.

Now, some relevant media tweets. First, from Chris Broussard:

Chris Bosh Miami HEAT

MIAMI (LALATE) – Chris Bosh is reportedly coming to the Miami Heat. Chris Bosh’s will join Dwyane Wade at the Miami Heat with LeBron James still possible, reports ESPN today.

The Chris Bosh Dwayne Wade deal has not been confirmed officially, and won’t be until at least Thursday. But a “person with knowledge of the situation” is reporting to ESPN that the Chris Bosh Miami Heat deal is done.

Welcome to Miami!

Pat Riley has said he wants to build a dynasty. The Bosh deal is still unknown as a sign or sign-and-trade deal. Both players have the same agent and had been photographed together in recent days inviting LeBron James to join them.

James will make his announced during primetime Thursday on ESPN. The Heat reportedly has $44 million available to spend that does not include $16 million for Wade.