Help Needed in Unlocking Lifesaving Treatments for Rare Diseases (Video)

Today’s featured video is about a baby girl who was diagnosed with GM-1 Gangliosidosis.

GM1 gangliosidosis is an inherited lysosomal storage disorder that progressively destroys nerve cells (neurons) in the brain and spinal cord. Some researchers classify this condition into three major types based on the age at which signs and symptoms first appear. The three types include: classic infantile (type 1), juvenile (type 2), and adult onset or chronic (type 3). Although the three types differ in severity, their features can overlap significantly. Because of this overlap, other researchers believe that GM1 gangliosidosis represents a continuous disease spectrum instead of three distinct types. This condition is caused by mutations in the GLB1 gene and is inherited in an autosomal recessive fashion.[1]

WEBSITE: http://www.hope4fiona.org
MOBILE DEVICES: http://m.hope4fiona.org
HOPE 4 FIONA YOUTUBE CHANNEL: http://www.youtube.com/user/hope4fiona/featured

Little Fiona has type 1, the most severe form of GM1 gangliosidosis, diagnosed by six months of age.

Infants with this form of the disorder typically appear normal until their development slows and muscles used for movement weaken. Affected infants eventually lose the skills they had previously acquired (developmental regression) and may develop an exaggerated startle reaction to loud noises. As the disease progresses, children with GM1 gangliosidosis type I develop an enlarged liver and spleen (hepatosplenomegaly), skeletal abnormalities, seizures, profound intellectual disability, and clouding of the clear outer covering of the eye (the cornea). Loss of vision occurs as the light-sensing tissue at the back of the eye (the retina) gradually deteriorates. An eye abnormality called a cherry-red spot, which can be identified with an eye examination, is characteristic of this disorder. In some cases, affected individuals have distinctive facial features that are described as “coarse,” enlarged gums (gingival hypertrophy), and an enlarged and weakened heart muscle (cardiomyopathy). Children with GM1 gangliosidosis type I usually do not survive past age 2.

Type II GM1 gangliosidosis consists of intermediate forms of the condition, also known as the late infantile and juvenile forms. Children with GM1 gangliosidosis type II have normal early development, but they begin to develop signs and symptoms of the condition around age 18 months (late infantile form) or 5 years (juvenile form). Individuals with GM1 gangliosidosis type II experience developmental regression but usually do not have cherry-red spots, distinctive facial features, or enlarged organs. Type II usually progresses more slowly than type I, but still causes a shortened life expectancy. People with the late infantile form typically survive into mid-childhood, while those with the juvenile form may live into early adulthood.

The third type of GM1 gangliosidosis is known as the adult or chronic form, and it represents the mildest end of the disease spectrum. The age at which symptoms first appear varies in GM1 gangliosidosis type III, although most affected individuals develop signs and symptoms in their teens. The characteristic features of this type include involuntary tensing of various muscles (dystonia) and abnormalities of the spinal bones (vertebrae). Life expectancy varies among people with GM1 gangliosidosis type III.

There is currently no cure or treatment for these diseases. In the United States,  research in the areas of enzyme replacement and gene therapy for GM1 gangliosidosis is ongoing but has not advanced to human trials. What’s the hold up? Why isn’t the research advancing? There’s an urgent need for a cure. The children who live with this disease are losing physical and cognitive abilities by the day. I know.

GM1 trials on humans are still years away.

There are currently some bills working their way through Congress that to help unlock lifesaving treatments:

HR 3737 the Unlocking Lifesaving Treatments for Rare Diseases Act
http://www.curetheprocess.org/ultra_act

ULTRA S 606/HR 3059 the Creating Hope Act
http://www.congressweb.com/cweb2/index.cfm/siteid/KAKI/action/TakeAction.Cont…
(In “Affiliation” box write: National Tac-Sach and Allied Disease)

H.R. 4132: FAST Act

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/hr4132

 Congressman Cliff Stearns (R-FL), a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, says that “in 1992, the FDA created an Accelerated Approval process to make new drugs available earlier to treat serious diseases and fill an unmet medical need based on a surrogate endpoint. However, the modern FDA’s approval rate for drugs and medical devices has slowed immensely.  Last March, Rep Stearns along with Rep. Ed Towns (R-NY) offered H.R. 4132, the Faster Access to Specialized Treatments (FAST) Act. 
This measure codifies much of the Accelerated Approval regulations into statute and modernizes the program to reflect the amount of medical and scientific innovation that has occurred in the past 20 years.”  This streamlined Accelerated Approval pathway also will help the rare disease community.

“A rare disease in the United States is a condition that affects fewer than 200,000 people, and according to the FDA about 30 million Americans are afflicted with a rare disease,” said Stearns.  “Because the diseases are rare, there is a disparity in access to drugs and treatments for these rare diseases.  In addition, under normal market conditions there is no incentive for the pharmaceutical industry to develop and market drugs for patients suffering from rare and ultra-rare diseases.  That is why these drugs are called ‘orphan’ drugs.”

Late last year, Stearns and Towns offered H.R. 3737, the Unlocking Lifesaving Treatments for Rare-Diseases Act (ULTRA), to promote the discovery and development of safe and effective drugs and treatments to prevent, diagnose, or treat rare and ultra-rare diseases.  Said Stearns, “After getting input on ULTRA, we developed H.R. 4132 and we are working with the Energy and Commerce Committee leadership on adding it to the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) V, which will be considered by the Committee.”

The Creating Hope Act Passed in the House on May 31. 

WASHINGTON, D.C.— The U.S. House of Representatives tonight approved a bipartisan provision authored by Congressmen Michael McCaul (R-TX) and G. K. Butterfield (D-NC) that would incentivize pharmaceutical companies to develop new drugs for children withrare pediatric diseases, such as childhood cancers and sickle cell disease.  H.R. 3059, The Creating Hope Act of 2011, was passed as part of H.R. 5651, which reauthorizes various Food and Drug Administration (FDA) user fee programs for prescription drugs and medical devices.  If the Senate approves the measure, it would go to the president for his signature.

“There aren’t many bills that pass the House that give instant hope to so many people in need.  This one does,” said Congressman McCaul, founder and chairman of the bipartisan Congressional Childhood Cancer Caucus.  Countless numbers of children and their families who are unable to treat their disease because of a lack of adequate treatments are counting on this legislation, as will many more children who may one day learn that they have a life-threatening illness.  The Creating Hope Act offers the best chance of encouraging pharmaceutical companies to develop treatments for children at no cost to taxpayers.”

Hope is something in very short supply for parents of children with these rare,  fatal diseases. You can help by contacting your members of Congress to support the above legislation.

Why my sudden  interest in this subject, you ask? Simple.

I know someone who was recently diagnosed with GM1 Gangliosidosis,  type 2.

Meet Chris, my youngest:

Please share:

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Linked by Ace of Spades HQ and Innocent Bystanders, and  Maggie’s Notebook, thanks!

UPDATE:

Obama Signs FDA User Fee Legislation Bringing Hope to Rare Disease Patients
EveryLife Foundation for Rare Diseases Applauds Congress for Including Provision to Empower the FDA to Accelerate Approval of Lifesaving Treatments

July 10, 2012, Washington, DC – Yesterday President Obamasigned into lawThe Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA), S. 3187, bipartisan legislation that will spur the development of lifesaving treatments for 30 million Americans suffering from rare diseases.

“We are thrilled the language to improve access to the FDA’s Accelerated Approval pathway for rare diseases has been included in FDASIA,” said Emil Kakkis, MD, President, EveryLife Foundation for Rare Diseases.  “We wish to thank Representatives Cliff Stearns (R-FL) and Ed Towns (D-NY) for being champions for the rare disease community.”

Stearns and Towns first introduced Unlocking Lifesaving Treatments for Rare Diseases Act (ULTRA) to empower FDA to use all the science available for allowing surrogate endpoints in clinical trials for rare diseases to determine whether a drug is working, significantly decreasing the development time and cost.  Stearns and Towns later introduced Faster Access to Specialized Treatments (FAST) Act that improved Accelerated Approval for life-threatening diseases while maintaining high safety and efficacy standards.

FDA’s Accelerated Approval has been successful in getting treatments approved for cancer and AIDS patients, but has been essentially unavailable for rare disease treatments.  There are currently fewer than 400 FDA-approved treatments for nearly 7000 rare diseases.  Investment and interest in development will surge for rare diseases if there is access to the Accelerated Approval pathway.

“We would not have been successful if it were not for the great work of Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), and more than 300 patient organizations that advocated for improving the FDA’s regulatory process,” added Kakkis.

 

 

Zilla-Aid-Athon: Help a Sick Blogger Out


Zilla Aid!

Many of you know Marzilla of Zilla of the Resistance. She has a great conservative blog, and because of her warm, and generous spirit, she’s made many friends in the right-wing blogosphere.

For as long as I’ve known her, she has struggled with health and financial problems. For months, now she’s been fighting an infection that started in her tooth, and spread to her ears and sinuses. She also recently found out what it is that has been ailing her for years:

Beginning in the first week of January and going throughout February, I had been given six rounds of four different antibiotic medications to no avail, the infection that started in my tooth which had spread into my ear and my sinuses would improve after a couple of days of treatment and then revert back to horrible within a day or two of  the course of completion of each course of antibiotics. I have dangerous reactions to many of the most widely used antibiotic medications so doctors are limited in what they can prescribe to me. There was one very strong antibiotic medication that i am known to be able to tolerate that my dentist said we could try as a last resort if the 6th round of antibiotics failed, which it did, so I was given a ten day treatment with Levaquin that finally got the raging infection in my head under control. I finished that course about a week and a half ago and tomorrow I go back to the dentist to get something permanent put over that tooth, most likely we will try a simple filling because I can’t afford any of the other options right now (I don’t even know how I am going to pay for tomorrow’s appointment) and it is still possible that I’ll lose the tooth and the bridge it holds up some time in the future – but right now I don’t care, I just want the temporary filling replaced with something stronger before I get infected again. But a funny thing happened during all of this…

As I have explained before, I suffer from chronic pain due to nerve damage from injuries, ruptured discs and something else that has been misdiagnosed as a bunch of different things and that has plagued me for years. I have lived with most of these things for well over a decade, especially the problems with my hands, but the past few years and increasing especially in the past year, there have been new, painful, and frightening symptoms which have seriously messed up my life. I spend the first few hours of every day so crippled up from back pain that it is difficult to stand up straight, hard to walk, and just exhausting – sometimes these problems clear up after I’ve been up for a while, sometimes they don’t and I lose entire days of my life to pain and misery and am unable to do much of anything. Since last fall I have also been running low grade fevers and getting chills, on and off, throughout the day, every damned day. It has been hell.

I noticed that while I was on the various antibiotics I had to take this year for the infection in my head that within a few days of starting each treatment, my fevers and chills would stop and, for the first time in years, I would get some relief from the debilitating pain in my back and my bones, but within a few days of completing each course of antibiotics, I would be back to my usual misery, and sometimes even worse than before.

During the last round of antibiotics, with the ‘last resort’ medication Levaquin, for the first time in nearly 2 years, I actually felt much better; I still had the pain in my hands and feet that I will probably alsways have, but I had several glorious days when I woke up NOT feeling as if I had been hit by a train, I could stand up straight and walk with ease, and I wasn’t so freaking tired – I was actually able to get some things done around here and play more with my kids, I felt ALIVE! Sadly (and I daresay, predictably), a few days after completing that course of treatment, while my dental/sinus/ear infection were finally better, my body pain and exhaustion returned with a vengeance and has worsened with every passing day. So here I am now, with pain so bad that it has had me in tears on and off for two solid days (no, my pain does not normally make me cry but this time it is indescribably bad, scary and so damned frustrating), and depression from it all is really kicking my ass. But the temporary reprieve from the agony seemed to me an important clue to the mystery that torments me, so I brought it up the other day when I went to the pain management doctor.

To make a long story short — it turns out the poor thing has late stage lyme disease -

So the other day I told the new doctor about the strange thing which had happened to me while on the antibiotics for an unrelated issue. I also made sure to mention that I had been repeatedly infected with Lyme Disease. To my surprise, he did not look surprised, and he explained to me that there are different variants of Late Stage Lyme Disease, some of which respond to oral or IV antibiotics and some which don’t. He told me that the testing for it is very expensive and not covered by insurance but even then tests aren’t 100% accurate anyway so doctors like him go with the “if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck…” method for diagnosing such things and that my accidental temporary reprieve from the pain with antibiotics was a huge and useful clue. I explained how badly I was feeling since stopping the antibiotics and asked if he could provide more but he said that it is dangerous to keep taking them after I have already been on so many in such a short time and also that because I have such weird reactions to so many medications (and dangerous food allergies as well) that he needed time to do some research to try to find an treatment that might be helpful to me. He will see me again for a consultation in one month and until then, all I have is my regular pain meds which are not particularly helpful right now.

I am sure that my current flare up will ease at some point, and I am happy that I finally found a doctor who seems to understand (he had previously worked for 20 years on Long Island’s East End where Lyme Disease is also prevalent so he has experience with it) but it sucks that I cannot be given any treatment for it right now and it is very depressing to have had a taste of what “better” feels like and knowing that it’s not something I will be able to get hold of again in the immediate future. So that’s what’s going on with me, I am hurting badly, very tired, and more than a little bit depressed and frustrated. Hopefully the dentist appointment goes well tomorrow and is not too expensive, I wonder if I can convince the dentist to give me antibiotics again so I can get a few more days of feeling like a real person just one more time? I doubt it, but it would sure be nice as I hate feeling like this and my husband and children deserve so much better than the miserable, sad, me that they are stuck with right now (although I try my best to smile through it all when I think they are looking, it gets harder every day to do and there is so much that they are all missing out of because I just can’t do much) and I feel like I am failing them.

If I haven’t bored you away yet, thank you for reading, any prayers you could offer up for me and my family would be greatly appreciated. Hopefully the current flare up will ease a little soon so I can at least get you all some new blog posts you might enjoy reading, but be sure to check my Twitter feed and the A-C page for news info as I do try to post a little bit to those places daily no matter how badly I feel, you can also find lots of great stuff in the blogroll in the left-hand margin of this blog.

Update March 10, 2012 6:30 am:  Thank you to everyone who has been sending prayers and offering kind words of encouragement, they mean the world to me!

Thank you to those of you who kindly hit my tip jar, I truly appreciate it and feel better knowing that I will be able to give the dentist something towards my bill when I go there this morning to (hopefully) have them finish up the work on that one bad tooth!

As much as I hated going through the dental/sinus hell, it turns out that the whole nightmare was a blessing in disguise as the accidental improvement of my body pain while taking antibiotics for the infection in my head led to having a doctor finally understand what has been wrong with me for all of this time.

A host of conservative bloggers have united in an effort to raise money for Zilla, who is facing a mountain of medical fees. I have no doubt that she would do the same thing for a fellow blogger in need.

A smaller version of the blog badge you see at the top of this post can be seen on my right sidebar. Feel free to donate if you are inclined. Every little bit helps.

Posted in Bleg. 8 Comments »

‘Cooking With The Troops’ In The News: CEO Interview (Video) + Veteran’s Day At NASDAQ

Cooking With The Troops is a program started by Bruce McQuain and fellow Blackfivers, Blake Powers and Bob Miller. Its mission is “to provide comfort, nutrition, and hope through four major programs.”

They’re holding a fund raiser that will run until Thanksgiving day.  You can donate, here.

It really is simple: Donate so we can help the wounded, their families, and the U.S. and Allied troops on the line.  There is no such thing as too small a donation, because they all can and do add up into something grand.  So, please don’t hesitate as all are appreciated and needed!

To give you an idea of what your donations can mean:
$10:  covers the costs of napkins for a typical event
$20:  covers the costs to feed a meal to a wounded warrior or family member at a European event
$50:  covers the cost of disposable plates for an event
$100:  covers the cost of drinks for a typical event
$250:  covers the cost for all paper goods at an event
$500:  covers most or all of the cost of meats for a typical barbecue
$1,000:  covers most or all of the cost of airfare to send a guest chef to a European event

Via Pundit Review:

We were honored to welcome the group’s CEO, C. Blake Powers, a fellow Blackfive blogger of Bruce’s, to Pundit Review Radio. Blake told us about the group, some of the great events they have held, including on Veterans Day at the NASDAQ. The reception that CWWT has received has been phenomenal. To keep things going, they need our support. You can help them and learn more by visiting their website.

Here’s C. Blake Powers talking about Cooking with the Troops:

Cooking With The Troops recently celebrated Veterans Day at NASDAQ:

How do you describe the indescribable?  In some respects, the event done by at the NASDAQ MarketSite by Cooking with the Troops and NASDAQ OMX truly was indescribable.  After all, how can one describe the feelings that come from bringing together veterans from WWII to present with those currently serving?  How can you describe the joy that came from being able to bring in those in uniform in to watch the cooking demos and for a magnificent lunch?  How can one say thank you to all who made it possible?

After all, this is a day that started with a surprise, and what a surprise it was.  Blue Nile, the leading online retailer of diamonds and fine jewelry, made it possible for wounded warrior Timothy G. Strobel to propose to his love Jennifer.  He was a medic who survived a great deal in Iraq, but was severely wounded in the leg.  He refused amputation of his leg, and has worked to walk again when told that it wouldn’t happen.  He met Jennifer during that time, and he credits her love and support for his recovery.  Blue Nile not only provided the ring and other items, but worked with Fox & Friends (you can see video of this from Fox here, tissue alert) to make the surprise happen.  Jennifer thought she was being interviewed because he couldn’t be present, then had Brian point out a video that was playing on the NASDAQ tower — in which Timothy held up five signs outlining his love for her.  As she was watching that, he came up, got down on bended knee, and proposed.  He later admitted in an interview that he was more nervous at that moment than during a firefight… Yes, that is Cooking with the Troops in the background, we were screening and trying hard not to let her know something was up (to say there was OPSEC on this is an understatement).

To top their morning off, NASDAQ and Cooking with the Troops provided the couple a special breakfast.  Chef Ellen Adams and Chef Kashia Cave prepared and served plates of chocolate chip pancakes, bacon, and strawberries on behalf of Cooking with the Troops.  The couple enjoyed the breakfast in a very special location prepared for them.

Read rest of report, here.

Again, if you can spare a few bucks for this worthy organization, the fund-raiser lasts until Thanksgiving. You can donate here.

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Cooking With The Troops Fund-Raiser (With Video)

Bruce McQuain of The Washington Examiner, Qando, The Greenroom, Questions and Observations, Pundit Review and Blackfive, recently wrote me about a wonderful charity he and fellow Blackfivers,  Blake Powers and Bob Miller are involved with.  They started Cooking With The Troops, a program whose mission is “to provide comfort, nutrition, and hope through four major programs.”
McQuain wrote:
I was at their event at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio Tx this summer and witnessed what they do first hand.  We fed 300 of our wounded warriors and their families for 2 meals at the Wounded Warrior Transition center.  They also kicked off their new Homefront program where they teach service members and their families how to cook good food on a budget instead of relying on fast food.
Here’s a video they made of the event:

The fund raiser will run from Veteran’s day (11th) to Thanksgiving day.  You can donate, here.

It really is simple: Donate so we can help the wounded, their families, and the U.S. and Allied troops on the line.  There is no such thing as too small a donation, because they all can and do add up into something grand.  So, please don’t hesitate as all are appreciated and needed!

To give you an idea of what your donations can mean:
$10:  covers the costs of napkins for a typical event
$20:  covers the costs to feed a meal to a wounded warrior or family member at a European event
$50:  covers the cost of disposable plates for an event
$100:  covers the cost of drinks for a typical event
$250:  covers the cost for all paper goods at an event
$500:  covers most or all of the cost of meats for a typical barbecue
$1,000:  covers most or all of the cost of airfare to send a guest chef to a European event

Expect a few more  posts from me,  pushing the program in the coming days, so they can expand to other military bases, etc.

Campaign To Defeat Barack Obama In Wisconsin Raising Money For Embattled Republicans

This message come via email from The Campaign To Defeat Barack Obama, who are in Wisconsin fighting the good fight:

Friends, we’ve sent a team to Wisconsin to fight back against Barack Obama and MoveOn.org which are trying to RECALL six Republican legislators, and take control over the state legislature so they can both block Gov. Scott Walker’s agenda, and put the state in Obama’s “win” column for the 2012 presidential race.

Tomorrow we’ll send out our new TV ad for Wisconsin.  We’re frantically trying to raise money to get these TV ads seen in critical locations across Wisconsin.

Please make a contribution of  $25, $50 or $100 or, if you can afford it, a more generous contribution of $250, $500, $1,000 or more so we can fund these efforts against Barack Obama and MoveOn.org and reach our goal.

We’re hoping 450 people can contribute $100 or more in the next 24 hours.  To support our efforts – CLICK HERE TO DONATE

It’s so important to realize that Obama’s team is up to their dirty tricks in Wisconsin so as to lay the groundwork for Obama to try to win Wisconsin for his 2012 presidential campaign.  Thanks to your help, we’re going to hand Obama, MoveOn.org and radical leftists yet another DEFEAT in Wisconsin in just a few weeks time.

Please donate if you can.

Help Stop Obama

www.raisingred.com,  a new conservative fund-raising website, was launched yesterday with the  mission is to raise money in support the Republican nominee to defeat President Obama in the 2012 presidential election.

John Hawkins, from Right Wing News, who helped create the organization, is asking conservatives to  “chip in some money, pass around the web page, and do your part to help get this PAC going.”

Launched by the activist team of Charlie Smith, former College Republican National Committee President; Kellen Giuda, New York City Tea Party co-founder and former Tea Party Patriots Board of Directors member; and conservative Blogger John Hawkins, Raising Red PAC and Raising Red Action Fund were born from a need for an innovative and forward-thinking political operation focused on candidates that will solve the problems that have been passed on to the Millennial Generation by decades of irresponsible politicians.

Charlie Smith, founder of Raising Red and former College Republican National Committee President said, “Yesterday, President Obama launched his re-election campaign, we want him to know that the results of the 2010 election were no fluke. The American people are fed up with his big-government agenda, and we’re not going to just sit around and watch while he drives this country into insolvency.”

In a political environment dominated by social and online technology, vibrant citizen activism, and new changes in campaign finance law, Raising Red PAC is focused on empowering concerned Americans to support a Republican nominee that will defeat and replace President Obama in the 2012 election, one in which the president is expected to raise $1 billion for his re-election effort.

“Our generation, our entire country, cannot afford four more years of the Obama administration’s debt-ridden agenda,” said Kellen Giuda, NYC Tea Party co-founder. “After leading tea parties and tea party rallies across the country since 2009, it’s clear that the time has come to channel that energy and take our country back. Raising Red gives us the tool to do that.”

Times are tough, but they’re going to get a lot tougher if we don’t stop this Cloward/Piven-driven, economy crushing wrecking ball we currently have as President. Please give if you can.

Cross-posted at Potluck and The Minority Report.

Wisconsin Republicans Need Your Help

They are on the front lines, and they are in trouble:

Wisconsin Republicans are being far outspent by unions and other far left groups.

Salena Zito writes at RCP:

Wisconsin has what can only be described as a screwy recall law; get enough signatures on a petition and you can trigger new elections.

Democrats hope to use this law to undo the GOP’s statehouse majority.

Recall elections could begin as early as June for 16 targeted Wisconsin state senators — eight Republicans who voted in favor of the law that ends most collective bargaining powers for public-employee unions, and eight Democrats who ran and hid in Illinois in what turned out to be a failed attempt to keep GOP lawmakers from voting on the measure.

When Republicans won big in 2010, Wisconsin was the best example of that midterm wave and the most significant warning to President Obama’s re-election campaign: Wisconsin’s three-term Democrat U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold went down and the GOP took the governor’s mansion, two more congressional seats and state legislative majorities.

All in a state that Al Gore, John Kerry and Barack Obama won as Democrat presidential candidates.

While Wisconsin’s story fell off the front page, the left — fueled by unions, the Democratic Governors Association and MoveOn.org — has begun a multimillion-dollar TV campaign to support the audacious recall effort.

The only Republican strategy — and money — machine that really seems to understand the potential effect is the Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC) headed by Ed Gillespie, former national GOP chairman. The RSLC is so worried that it is making an unusual mid-cycle investment of money that it could have used in 2012.

Unions and the left are far outspending pro-business interests and the right on recall ads.

Democrats are wise to see more at stake than a single state Senate majority and a new political map that could unseat two freshmen Republican congressmen. They know this is the first battle of 2012 — their version of 2010′s surprise election of Scott Brown, R-Mass., who won a blue-state U.S. Senate seat formerly held by Democrat Ted Kennedy.

Republicans won in Massachusetts because conservatives around the country poured money into Brown’s campaign; he raised a million bucks a day and couldn’t spend it all.

His opponent, Democrat Margaret Coakley, was strapped and forced to beg money from Washington lobbyists in the race’s last 10 days, which Brown quickly used in a commercial against her.

Massachusetts Democrats got ambushed. Will Republicans let that happen to them in Wisconsin?

This will have a chilling effect on every other state dealing with public-employee collective bargaining or pensions in the next two years — which is just about all of them.

If Walker and other governors cannot tame public pensions and union contracts, you will see tax hikes enacted under freshmen GOP governors across the country in the next few years. It is simple math.

You can donate, here. It’s important that Wisconsin Republicans get out of state donations, because instate donations have been suppressed due to union threats.

See also:

Robert Costa, NRO: Wisconsin Fight Goes to Court:

Pressure is mounting on the seven-member high court to weigh in. If they do, the bill risks being overturned. For the moment, judicial conservatives hold a 4–3 edge. But that could flip come April 5, when incumbent justice David Prosser, a former GOP legislator, battles JoAnne Kloppenburg, an environmental lawyer and veteran state attorney, for a ten-year term.

… Prosser’s ability to respond to the rising interest has been hamstrung. He, along with Kloppenburg, is the recipient of public funds — $300,000 for the general election, to be exact — and both have pledged not to spend a dime more. “Looking back, that was one decision they should not have done,” says one state GOP strategist.

***

The Greater Wisconsin Committee, a leftist organizing group with deep union ties, has funneled $3 million into anti-Prosser advertising, taking relentlessly to the airwaves. “They are the Left’s biggest political player in the state,” says Brett Healy, the president of the MacIver Institute, a Wisconsin-based think tank. “They run the ads that no one else wants to run.”

Indeed. The GWC is airing ads that tie Prosser to the budget bill. “Prosser equals Walker” is the usual theme. But those political attacks are fluff compared with the group’s latest smear, a dimly-lit, creepy spot that casts Prosser as soft on pedophilia. That ad alleges that Prosser, as a local district attorney three decades ago, failed to properly prosecute a Catholic priest accused of molesting several boys. Prosser, according to those who know him, is said to be furious about the ad, angry with its inaccuracies and how it sullies his name.

At a debate late last week, Prosser, his displeasure barely concealed, urged Kloppenburg to ask the GWC to pull the ad. “It is the worst ad that has ever been run in a judicial campaign,” he asserted. Kloppenburg would not budge. “Like it or not, third parties have a right to run ads of their choosing,” she replied.Prosser fired back: “If some third party ran an ad supporting me and attacking you, and it was despicable, and it was a lie, I would stand up and ask that the ad be pulled,” he argued. “You are not willing to do that, even at the request of the victim in the ad?”

Prosser noted that Troy Merryfield, one of the abuse victims, has spoken out against the clip, and in support of Prosser’s decision to not prosecute at the time.

Justice Prosser’s website is here.

Linked by Michelle Malkin, and Doug Ross in Larwyn’s Links, thanks.

Hat tip Charles B.

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Scott Brown Moneybomb, Today

The RedInvadesBlue Moneybomb site is here.

So much depends on this…Give generously if you can, lets make the Dems howl in fury on election day.

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GOP Call To Action: This Is Our Last Chance To Stop Government Run Health Care

***

Key Senator Contact information, via Michelle Malkin:

Olympia Snowe:

Mailing Address:
154 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Phone: (202) 224-5344
Toll Free: (800) 432-1599
Fax: (202) 224-1946

Email form here.

James Webb and Claire McCaskill:

Webb contact info…

Washington, D.C.
248 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: 202-224-4024
Fax: 202-228-6363

Toll Free Number
1-866-507-1570

Email form for Virginians here.

McCaskill contact info…

Missouri Office Locations
Please visit our Missouri offices

Cape Girardeau
555 Independence Room 1600
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63703
Phone 573-651-0964
Fax 573-334-4278

Columbia
915 E. Ash St
Columbia, Mo 65201
Phone:573-442-7130
Fax:573-442-7140

Kansas City
4141 Pennsylvania, Ste. 101
Kansas City, MO 64111
Phone 816-421-1639
Fax 816-421-2562

Springfield
324 Park Central West
Suite 101
Springfield, MO 65806
Phone 417-868-8745
Fax 417-831-1349

St. Louis
5850 A Delmar Blvd
St. Louis, MO 63112
Phone:314-367-1364
Fax: 314-361-8649

Washington D.C.
For those visiting D.C., please stop by our office at:

Office of Senator Claire McCaskill
United States Senate
Hart Senate Office Building, SH-717
Washington, D.C. 20510
(202) 224-6154
FAX (202) 228-6326

As the long march of communism through the culture and institutions nears completion, I am reminded of  King Theoden’s speech in LOTR – How did it come to this?:

Yes, the orcs represent the commies.

RELATED:

Bill Kristol rallies the troops:

A Pyrrhic Victory?

When a fellow conservative tried to cheer me up this morning by assuring me that the Senate Democrats’ victory on health care was going to be a Pyrrhic one, I realized I didn’t remember much about Pyrrhus.

I went of course to Wikipedia. That fine reference work defines a Pyrrhic victory as “a victory with devastating cost to the victor.” It also provides this quotation from Plutarch’s Life of Pyrrhus, describing the aftermath of the battle of Asculum in 279 BCE:

“The armies separated; and, it is said, Pyrrhus replied to one that gave him joy of his victory that one more such victory would utterly undo him. For he had lost a great part of the forces he brought with him, and almost all his particular friends and principal commanders; there were no others there to make recruits, and he found the confederates in Italy backward. On the other hand, as from a fountain continually flowing out of the city, the Roman camp was quickly and plentifully filled up with fresh men, not at all abating in courage for the loss they sustained, but even from their very anger gaining new force and resolution to go on with the war.”

So: Pyrrhus’s victory became Pyrrhic because the victorious party lost many of its supporters–but also because the opposition didn’t abate in courage, was able to gain new recruits, and had the force and resolution to go on.

***

So: Fight on with respect to health care. Fight on other fronts. And recruit new fighters. In a word: Fight.

See also:

Ace Of Spades:

Health Care Stuff

Great analysis of what’s going on with the legislation, and Obama’s plummeting popularity. Go read it.

The price tag, via The Weekly Standard:

CBO: Real 10-Year Cost of Senate Bill Still $2.5 Trillion

With Obamacare, you get the good, the bad, and the ugly — except for the first part.

The Congressional Budget Office’s score is in for the final Senate health bill, and it’s amazing how little Americans would get for so much.

Project Valour-IT Bleg: WE NEED REINFORCEMENTS!

If you haven’t yet done so, please consider a small donation to the Valour IT Marine team. We’ve managed to assemble a team of over 65 bloggers but it’s tough for us to compete with the larger services.

Until yesterday we had a $2000 lead over the Army and a $7-8000 lead over Air Force and Navy. But our position is being overrun. We need reinforcements!

The devices that Valour-IT funds have a profound and visible effect on users/recipients and ALL money donated for Valour-IT goes to purchase and shipping of laptops, Wiis, and GPS devices (that means ZERO OVERHEAD). Valour IT provides powerful tools that help severely wounded vets (not just those with hand problems) speed up recovery and treatment, maintain a support system, and regain a sense of independence.

Valour IT facts:

• in 4+ years Valour IT has provided 4,100 laptops, over 30 Wii systems to VA hospitals, and nearly 100 handheld GPS devices
• Total online funds collected to date: nearly 3/4 of a million dollars
• Every dollar raised goes directly to wounded vets military medical centers and VA facilities nationwide, such as:

o Balboa Naval Hospital
o Brooke Army Medical Center
o Madigan Regional Medical Center
o National Naval Medical Center (Bethesda)
o Naval Hospital, Camp Pendleton
o Robert E. Bush Naval Hospital (29 Palms)
o Walter Reed Army Medical Center

Here’s what your donation can provide:

Voice activated laptops:

1. Help wounded vets connect with still-deployed fellow service members (relieve anxiety about how their friends are doing, allow them to maintain a support system)
2. Allow vets to stay in touch with loved ones who can’t be at their bedside
3. Run therapeutic computer programs that help restore brain/vision function,
4. Can be used to research treatments, keep track of treatment regimen.
5. Retrain for post-military employment
6. Voice control makes using a computer one of the first things they can do on their own

Wii uses:

1. Physical therapists in VA hospitals and major medical centers are using Wii fit systems with their patients
2. Motivation: Wii Sports games key into natural competitive nature
3. Track progress in a fun way

GPS uses:

1. For those with very severe PTSD or TBI (memory problems, high anxiety, etc), having a GPS increases independence and restores a sense of competence. Short-term memory problems can make it hard to navigate of new locations. A GPS can mean the difference between success and failure.

Please help. These men and women have already given so much. The price of a nice six pack of beer or an inexpensive dinner seems the least we can to in return for their sacrifices.

Post by: Cassandra from Villainous Company

Project Valour-IT Marine Team Members Needed

BUMPED – PROJECT VALOUR-IT STARTS TOMORROW, OCTOBER 26.

Who does America call when something absolutely, positively must be destroyed overnight?

US-Marine-Rat.jpg
U.S. Marine Rat

That’s right… America’s 911 Force: the Few. The Loud. The Marine team!

We’re still looking for a few good blogs to help us raise money for Project Valour IT. The competition starts Monday, October 26th and though the Marines are the smallest service, we’re planning to chew through the competition. But to do that, we need your help.

Project Valour IT provides laptops with voice activated software to wounded soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen at Walter Reed and Bethesda. Typically these young men and women spend up to two years recovering and undergoing physical therapy. Their courage, determination, and unfailing esprit de corps are truly inspiring. Most of us, facing the loss of our eyesight, an arm or a leg and repeated surgeries would just crumble up into a ball. Not these guys. They’re warriors:

He knows they’re going to stare. They always stare.

As soon as Pat Murray steps in the elevator, they’ll notice his prosthetic leg and maybe accurately surmise that, yes, he is an Iraq war veteran, and, yes, he got blown up. Then the sadness will sink in, the pity, and they’ll give him that look, which he can sense even if he doesn’t see, and it will be an uncomfortable few floors up.

So as Murray approaches the elevator and the woman thrusts her hand between the closing doors for him, he says, “Careful, you can lose a limb that way.”

“Oooh,” the woman says, noticing Murray’s metal leg. She’s obviously shocked, unsure of what to say or how to act. Murray flashes a smile, lets loose an “it’s okay” chuckle, and suddenly the ride up isn’t nearly so awkward after all.

It’s that type of humor — spontaneous (he once asked his doctor when his leg would grow back), cunning (he tells children who ask about his “robot” leg that he didn’t eat his vegetables) and, at times, gruesome (there are stump jokes that can’t be printed here) — that helped him come to terms with the fact that his right leg is no more.

It was at Walter Reed Army Medical Center that Murray, who was a corporal in the Marine Corps, not only learned to walk again, but to laugh. Although doctors and therapists can patch up the physical wounds of war, it is often the humor — soldier to soldier, Marine to Marine, patient to patient — that in the space of a punch line can heal as well as the best medicine.

It’s not unusual for these young men and women to take up bungee jumping, skydiving, or participate in marathons or other extreme sports even after losing a limb. But that long period where they’re confined to their hospital beds can be the worst of all. Project Valour IT provides them with a way to escape the confines of their rooms and keep in touch with buddies, friends and family members. For many wounded vets, it’s a tangible reminder that they’re still part of the world outside Bethesda or Walter Reed: that there is life after being wounded.

Valour IT is one of my favorite military charities. I’ve supported it every year and led the Marine Team to raise over $51,000 in 2006. My co-captain Carrie and I are planning two weeks of fun, jokes, Marine history, culture, heroes and more. Carrie’s son is headed over to Afghanistan and my husband is already over there, so we both have good reason to support the great work Valour IT is doing.

Valour IT is a cause you can support with confidence that your donation will be well spent. Every dollar raised goes directly to wounded vets at the following military medical centers as well as VA treatment centers nationwide:

* Balboa Naval Hospital

* Brooke Army Medical Center

* Madigan Regional Medical Center

* National Naval Medical Center (Bethesda Naval Hospital)

* Naval Hospital, Camp Pendleton

* Robert E. Bush Naval Hospital (29 Palms)

* Walter Reed Army Medical Center

So now you have the mission. What we need now is a strong team. Please sign up for the Marine team, and tell all your friends. You can join here and see the great blogs who’ve already proudly donned the title, “Marine team”.

But most of all, remember — we’re planning to have fun. Because although they’re all business, no one rocks the house like the United States Marine Corps:

Written by Cassandra, Villainous Company
The Few… The Loud.. THE MARINES!

Say Anything
Semper Gratus
Theodores World
Cassy Fiano
Something… and Half of Something

Tigerhawk
Caos Blog
Villainous Company
Soldiers Angels Germany
Grunt Doc

One Marines View
Nice Deb
The Daley Gator
Michelle Malkin
From the Halls to the Shores

Hell in a Basket
Stix Blog
Riehl World View
Dragonfly
Jules Crittenden

Wharton Marketing Blog
Little Miss Attila
Gazing at the Flag
Right Pundits
The C-Square

Grims Hall
Miss Ladybug
Blatherings Blog

Hannah Giles Legal Defense Fund

Right here, in case you’d like to contribute. Yes, it’s legit, says Ace.

Sen. Mike Johanns (R., Neb.) told  National Review Online that O’Keefe and Giles are “unbelievably courageous” for standing up to ACORN:

“Here are a couple of young people who stepped into an ACORN office. The employees in each of the offices that they visited simply had the option to say ‘get the heck out of here, that’s not what our organization is about,’” says Johanns. “It was these young filmmakers, because of their courage, who were able to reveal a whole different side of ACORN. They saw ACORN employees counsel about how to break the law.”

The duo’s videos, says Johanns, “are some of the most remarkable things I’ve ever seen in terms of exposing an entity that receives government funds. When I replay the clips today, I still find them shocking. I applaud them for their courage and feel so badly that ACORN decided to let it fly and sue them. Now, ACORN is trying to intimidate them just because they stood up and captured the truth about ACORN’s activities on camera.”

The suit, he adds, is “so typical of ACORN. This is an organization that decided to send missiles in someone else’s direction when the spotlight got too intense. I think that ACORN now has real problems. They’ll have a very difficult time convincing any jury. It comes down to this: The ACORN employees were caught doing things that are just outrageous. They’re going to have to convince the jury that notwithstanding the outrageous behavior, ACORN should be compensated. That argument doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.”

You can read the whole statement at NRO.

The pair really do deserve  a big round of applause.

Sign The Acorn Petition

ls7


I heard MN Rep. Michelle Bachman talking about this on Hannity, Friday:

The petition:

Since 1994, ACORN has received more than $53 million in direct federal funding. And, over the years, ACORN and its employees have also been the subject of investigations, indictments, and consent decrees in states all across the nation for election-related activities that run afoul of the law.

This isn’t a political witch hunt, as many Democrats claim. The prosecutors who have brought the charges against ACORN and its employees are both Republican and Democrat. They’re doing their jobs, enforcing the law and protecting the integrity of the voting process.

Yet even as fresh charges were being filed against ACORN and its employees in Nevada and Pennsylvania, Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives worked to protect the stream of tax dollars to this organization. They stripped down language that I had put in a mortgage reform bill (HR 1728) – language that would have ensured that Congress sets a high bar for who has access to your tax dollars.

Congress and the Administration have been on a spending spree with your money, racking up trillion dollar deficits for years down the road. If Congress can’t draw the line here – if they can’t say that an organization repeatedly charged with violating the law and public trust should not have access to federal funds – where will they draw the line?

I urge you to sign this petition and join me in the fight to protect your tax dollars from being used and abused.

–Rep. Michele Bachmann


Related, via Red State:

al_franken_bunny_web

A review of Minnesota’s statewide database of registered voters revealed at least 2,812 deceased individuals voted in last November’s general election, according to a new report by the “traditional values” advocacy group Minnesota Majority.

After obtaining the list of voters who participated in November’s election, the group hired an independent firm who specializes in “death suppression” for direct mailing lists to review the data. The process, which involved matching names and addresses to state death records, bore troubling results.

According to Minnesota statute 201.13, the commissioner of health is to report monthly the name, address, date of birth, and county of residence of voting-age deceased residents to the secretary of state.

Presumably the commissioner of health would not issue incomplete reports (read: no motive), the blame then falls elsewhere – namely, at the feet of Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, whose partisan leanings and curious alliance with vote fraud-magnet ACORN are becoming more salient by the day.

tombstone-I-voted

Sign The ‘Stand Strong For Rush’ Petition

Democrats in Congress have worked themselves into a tizzy because Rush Limbaugh recently stated that he wants Obama to fail. That may have been inartfully put, but the fact of the matter is,  many Americans agree with Rush, because they believe that Obama’s policies will be bad for America.

Democrats  have called Rush’s words, “outrageous”, and have distorted them on the DCCC website:

“Last week, Rush Limbaugh actually said that he “hopes” President Obama fails to meet America’s challenges”.

They’ve started a petition to condemn Rush which they no doubt hope will be the impetus to to implement a “Hush Rush” type of Fairness Doctrine bill some time down the road.

Noel Sheppard of Newsbusters, says:

The war for freedom of speech has officially begun, America.

Be afraid! Be very afraid!

Rush responded:

“I am greatly puzzled. Why would the Democrats petition against me if I am doing such terrible damage to the GOP? Click here to send messages of love, hope and change TO ME via this petition!”

The Rush Limbaugh Show website has linked to the DCCC website and Rush has asked his listeners to tell the DCCC to stop distorting his words. Frankly, I don’t trust the DCCC to keep a record of the “reverse petition” comments.

That’s why I started this petition, which I encourage all supporters of free speech to sign. I will forward the results to  Congress to counteract their “Hush Rush” efforts.

Help Find A Cure For The Deadliest Childhood Disease

lilypicture

A plea from the grandmother of a child with leukemia:

Since my 7-year old granddaughter, Lily, was diagnosed with Pre-B ALL (Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia) on December 1, 2008, our family has been reading a lot about childhood cancer and the research into finding cures. There’s not much funding for childhood cancer research.

Each school day, 46 children (two classrooms full!) are diagnosed with some form of cancer. In the past three days TWO children whose cancer journeys I’ve been following have died. A two year old named Kayla, and a 5-year old named Addison. Addison had the same kind of leukemia as Lily – had a positive prognosis, but then caught a bug and she couldn’t overcome it. Addison is the one that when Lily was first diagnosed, the doctor told my daughter they needed to get to know her because she was doing so well and would provide such encouragement for them. And then just a few weeks later, she is gone.

Finding a cure for childhood cancer is a life-or-death issue. Just take a brief trip to a children’s oncology hall at a hospital, and your own life will never be the same. These children can’t advocate for themselves because they’re literally fighting for their lives. It is up to us to be their advocates. So you can start by doing the following:

(1) Go to this web address: Citizen’s Briefing Book
(2) In the search box, type “childhood cancer”
(3) Click on the top item “Increased Funding for Childhood Cancer” (The one that was posted at 4:02 P.M.)
(4) Click on the “Vote UP” button. If you don’t already have an account, you will have to create an account. However, it’s free, and it’s quick – and the effort is worth it.
(5) You can read the letter along with the comments. You can log in or create an account if you would like to leave your own comment.

Janice Shaw at Townhall has more:

During the past six weeks, our extended family has been learning things that nobody ever wants to learn.  On December 1, 2008, my niece’s 7-year-old daughter, Lily, was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL).  Today’s adults remember when such a diagnosis was a death sentence; 40 years ago patients with ALL had a four percent survival rate.  Now children with Lily’s type of leukemia have a 90 percent survival rate, because St. Jude’s hospital in Memphis made it their main mission in the 60s to discover treatments that work against childhood leukemia.  Researchers at St. Jude’s were criticized by those who believed that children with cancer should be allowed to die in peace rather than go through the horrible treatment that they had to endure.  Our family and thousands of others are so grateful that the researches prevailed and persevered.

*****

The wonderful doctors at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital in Nashville described leukemia for Lily as a weed that was taking over a garden.  They challenged her to help them get rid of the weeds in her blood.  As a result, Lily named her website Lily’s Garden, www.lilysgarden.org. She wants to replace the weeds in her garden with beautiful lilies!

Lily’s family is challenging people to sign up for Nashville’s Country Music Marathon (CMM) on April 25, 2009, with the Leukemia/Lymphoma society as the main charity for the event. Anyone can register by going to www.cmmarathon.com.  Those who register for the CMM, can join Lily’s team by registering at her website, www.lilysgarden.org.  Lily’s team will have T-shirts and arm bands emblazoned with the slogan, “Walking to Weed Out Leukemia.”  The shirts are a shade of purple that suits both men and women.  More than 50 people have already signed up with Lily’s team; we’d love to have a sea of purple.

Please visit the linked sites if you’d like to help out.

Thanks to Cotillion sister, Carol, The Median Sib, for the information.

Posted in Bleg. 7 Comments »
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