LA Times on the effort to curtail personal vaccine exemptions in CA:
The vaccination debate has reached fever pitch. Legislation has passed in the state Senate that would do away with the "personal belief exemption" that allows parents in California to refuse to vaccinate their children. As it moves to the Assembly, opponents are ratcheting up their rhetoric, calling the bill a huge intrusion on their rights, and one that is written so broadly that even children with conditions that make vaccinations dangerous for them wouldn't be entitled to exemptions.It just happened in Vermont:
The noise surrounding SB 277 is drowning out the truth, which is this: In general, parents have a right to make medical decisions for their children. But when it comes to communicable diseases, which can have devastating consequences on large groups of people, there also is a general societal right to protect public health.
Gov. Peter Shumlin has signed without fanfare the legislation that removes the philosophical exemption from Vermont's vaccination law.Politico has a piece semi-defending Dennis Hastert:
On the heels of a polarized and emotional public debate at the Legislature this year, Shumlin signed the bill privately in his office early Thursday afternoon, according to spokesman Scott Coriell.
The exemption is to end July 1, 2016.
The specific charges against Hastert involve “structured withdrawals,” Hastert is alleged to have taken down a series of transfers from financial institutions all just under the ten thousand dollar reporting threshold, allegedly to evade reporting them to the government. As an add on, Hastert is accused of having lied to federal investigators when questioned about these withdrawals.Hastert is so screwed. Good luck defending him.
These reporting requirements, first adopted in 1970 and recently expanded in the USA Patriot Act—a notable legislative accomplishment, ironically, of Dennis Hastert—were designed to furnish tools for law enforcement in combatting money laundering and drug trafficking. Are the feds saying that Hastert is a money launderer or a drug trafficker? No. What exactly was wrong with his unreported withdrawals? There is a strong suggestion of improper purpose, but the indictment is sparing with the facts.