Well, get ready for this:
Not through inventing new roles, former President Barak Obama is going to Asia to meet with heads of State, including the President of China.
In an article titled, “Barack is back,” the hopes of many are made clear:
“Although Obama has failed to remain completely out of the public eye following his departure from the White House—with his Obama Foundation work and friendship with recently engaged Prince Harry keeping him in the headlines—the trip marks a clear return to global issues for the former leader.”
This is a line I may find occasion to quote in the future:
The author, Holman W. Jenkins, Jr., goes on to make the point that the Dems shot themselves in the foot by not exploiting the fact that Trump was himself a Dem or Dem-leaning until recently – or, even, perhaps working with him to pass the infrastructure funds.
My theory about the Russia accusations is that the Wassermann-Schultz IT scandal (an “unbiased” review by the Washington Post, here, and the Daily Caller’s more thorough review, here) as well as Podesta’s “password” password controversy (see the UK’s Guardian coverage, here) , along with the cheating to defeat Bernie Sanders, was serious enough to necessitate distraction. And we all know that there’s quite afew irregularities in the Comey and Lynch, etc., cover-up of Hillary’s illegal server and “carelessness” with government security.
(I couldn’t come up with a better title than Mr. Jenkins’ own.)
The Baltimore Sun is one of the online news sites I read because it’s more reliable than others. Usually.
Now, they’ve published an opinion piece with a falsehood about “inhumane acts” that were supposedly the result of President Trump’s Executive Order on travel to the United States from certai countries. At less one of those stories was easily debunked with a quick news search.
The story that a 5 year old boy was handcuffed is at false, according to a news report by WUSA9, from Washington, DC:
We tracked down the actual photo to a controversy in Kentucky involving sheriff’s deputies handcuffing young students with learning disabilities, back in 2015.
Another story going around is that a 5 year old Syrian girl was hand-cuffed by Immigration, also at Dulles.
The anything-but-right-wing Snopes has already published a denial about the little girl. (Of course, the verdict is, “Mixture,” rather than,”False.” Can’t go risk validating anything that might have resulted from the Trump EO, I guess.)
In this case, the father even said the airport officials were kind to the family.
All of which confirms that we need to do our own research and seek out”alternative” sources to confirm or deny “facts” reported in the news.
While we were distracted by whether Kellyanne Conway was “lying” about “alternative facts” and how mean Bannon and Spicer are, the FBI quietly lifted the gag order on National Security Letters issued by them during the previous Administration.
Now, I’m not a lawyer, so the following is a lay explanation.
These “Letters” are in fact, subpoenas issued by a government agency. They don’t require a judge or FISA Court review or warrant.
Get this: the laws authorizing the NSLs are called “Patriot” and ” Privacy” Acts and the gag order provisions have been vetted by the Ninth Circuit of Appeals:
However, the government appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which vacated her ruling and sent the case back to the district court. Last month that court ruled that the gag order challenge was no longer relevant because the USA Freedom Act had successfully addressed the issue of gag orders.
Google, Twitter, Facebook, and others reported the release from the gag order during the last couple of months. Yahoo, along with the others, has been fighting in court and some of the Letters have been disclosed to the targets:
I sincerely thought that all of these sorts of subpoenas were required to eventually go through approval of a FISA Court judge. Hopefully, the Trump Administration will not continue the Obama Administration’s abuse of these Letters and that Congress will correct the law.
#NeverTrump -ers & inauguration protestors claim the Right protested Obama from day 1. No, the protest rallies began in February, 2009, with the Tea Party actions against the “Stimulus.”
According to the New York Times,at the time, the few protestors were against outgoing President Bush and there were the members of Code Pink and Amnesty International, etc., who wanted O to move farther to the Left.
But let’s don’t forget that chant, okay?
Here’s the New York Times graphic description of voters by income. Clearly, voters who pay income tax were more likely to vote Republican. This explains the support for T’s down ballot from the vote for President.
The consensus of media pundits and bloggers, as well as quite a few liberal and even Conservative op-ed authors, is that Donald J.Trump was elected President out of some misguided national populism and anger at Congress, fueled with a lot of racism, misogyny and hate. The fact that those same voters elected a Republican majority in the House and Senate – sending virtually every eligible Republican incumbent back to DC – is glossed over.
The idea that Conservatives really believe in small government and equal opportunity supported by personal responsibility is rarely voiced. That we might actually vote, not only for President but consistently down ballot, in order to defend the Bill of Rights and the right to life is ignored while we are accused of xeno-, homo-, and poly-whatever-phobia. I read that I am “afraid” of other lifestyles, religions, and losing my “privilege” based on being a White Christian.
Personally, I approve of most of the Republican Platform, especially where it addresses core Conservative issues, such as low taxes and equal treatment under the law. I want a Legislature that will uphold the Constitution as it’s written and defend against the infringement of inalienable rights. I don’t want activist judges nominated or confirmed at any level of the Federal Court system, especially the Supreme Court. I hope President Trump and the Republican Congress majority will decrease the hassle factors and threats placed on the practice of medicine and business in general by an overreaching Federal bureaucracy.
And, yes, my sense of fairness hopes that our existing immigration laws will finally be enforced, as an outcome of the”equal treatment under the law.”
Instead of facile clichés fed by cherry-picked sound bites and the latest talking points from the Left, try looking at and listening to the 59 Million voters across the country who elected a Republican candidate for President, and ensured a Republican majority including all those “establishment” candidates in both the House and Senate.
It’s the Republican platform and Conservative policy that we Conservatives voted for, not one man.
November 6, 2016 – a Sunday afternoon – FBI Director Comey announced that his agency’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s selfie-server is closed, still without recommendation to charge the former Secretary of State. He destroyed any confidence that the United States is a nation of laws.
From the New York Post:
” From within the SCIF, Santos — who had no clearance — “collected documents from the secure facsimile machine for Clinton,” the FBI notes revealed.:
“Just how sensitive were the papers Santos presumably handled? The FBI noted Clinton periodically received the Presidential Daily Brief — a top-secret document prepared by the CIA and other US intelligence agencies — via the secure fax.”
Among the FBI notes on their investigation into those once-deleted emails from Clinton’s selfie-server were some indicating that Clinton regularly required her Washington, DC maid to print out official State Department documents, including classified information.
That’s right: her maid, a woman without any security clearance at all.
Again, while these emails and the access by the maid present new information to most of us, the FBI knew that they existed and that they were among the 30,000+ emails that were deleted *after* Congress had served Clinton with a subpoena.
We can assume that the emails had been marked as personal by the (again, no-security-clearance-) lawyers to whom Clinton delegated the task of dividing the contents of the selfie-server into those that were not and those that were State Department business. Clinton claimed that neither group of emails contained classified documents, so she saw nothing wrong with turning over a memory stick containing the emails to the lawyers.
Media Matters covered the maid stories. The point that they made was strictly on Conservative bias and the timing of when the classified emails became classified. There was no coverage about the President’s morning briefing from intelligence sources or on the illegality of giving access to the SCIF. There was certainly no insight into the fact that the documents could later be determined to be classified is the EXACT reason that a person without the appropriate clearance should not be given access!
I’m disgusted. I’m angry. I want to commit felonies of my own – felonies yet to be determined, but of my choice and according to my own schedule.
But since I do believe in the Rule of Law and its benefits, I want to know what my Senators Cruz and Cornyn and my Congressman Lamar Smith intend to do clean house in the Federal government.
And I don’t mean, “with, like a cloth.”
(Edited @ 7:05 PM on November 7, to add comments on Media Matters and to correct the cloth comment. BBN)
The future includes so much more than a 10 year old video, for people who don’t have memory problems.
Forget the Clinton’s sale of nights in the Lincoln Bedroom and misplaced furnishings from the White House and, later, the State Department offices. Go ahead, laugh at the “Reset button.”
But don’t forget the pay-for-access that continues to this day. Please don’t dismiss Clinton’s complicity with the sale of US uranium and her own dismissal of the deaths of four Americans at Benghazi or of “our posterity” in the case of the unborn children whose lives are ended by elective, intentional abortion.
These recollections make a difference today and for the future.
What place will there be in a Clinton II Administration for people who oppose abortion or who prefer to continue to include “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance? Can we tolerate another 4 years of IRS discrimination against conservative non-profits? Do we need to have more lawsuits against nuns or regulations forbidding Christians from praying in the name of Jesus?
We certainly won’t be invited to any closed door meetings on HillaryCare. And there’s no telling how many boxes of FBI files and billing records will disappear never to be “recalled” if Clinton gets another shot at the White House.
I would much rather hold Donald Trump to his promises than watch Hillary Clinton keep hers.
Beverly B Nuckols, MD
Trump’s leaked tax forms (3 pages?) apparently report on *New York State* income taxes and all the comments about tax avoidance are pure speculation: the reports all say that Trump “may” have legally avoided income taxes (Federal or State?), *then *proceed *as *though *he *did.
In the meantime, we have proof that Clinton declared a $700M loss in 2015 & took multi-year deductions on Federal taxes. We also know that NYT, who published those 1995 tax pages, takes deductions, paid no Federal income tax in 2014, received refund.
There is only one candidate on the November ballot for President this year who states that he is pro-life. Even if Donald Trump is inconsistent – and he is, I’ll admit – the fact is that Hillary Clinton and Gary Johnson are very consistent in their advocacy for legal elective abortion. Trump may have said that Planned Parenthood does good work, but Clinton campaigns with Cecile Richards.
RedState has lost all relevance as a reliable source for conservative commentary, in their zeal to defeat Donald Trump.
First, the moderators began banning commenters who simply questioned RS authors during the Primary. Now, Discus and comments have disappeared entirely from the site, and any public feedback is moved to the ephemera on Facebook.
Yes, Pro-life Bills are often weak, incremental compromises. We face the reality of needing to win at least some Dem votes and the probability of vetoes. The Press invariably paints usas evil. As Wolf pointed out – and the Supreme Court ruling on Texas’ HB2 clearly showed – the current Courts are stacked against us.
One of my friends acknowledged the weak Bills and compromises that our legislative efforts sometimes become, likening our efforts to lifeboats. Rather than big, shiny, well-crewed ships to use to rescue the unborn, we are forced to borrow any thing that floats. Our crafts are ugly and leak, and we constantly have to worry that we will sink. This is all we have, but we go back again and again, to rescue as many as we can without each trip.
Leon Wolf just shot a few new holes in our efforts, from his safe harbor at RedState.
Obama’s new Health and Human Services regulations will prohibit consideration of whether a provider does abortions – or sells body parts – or not.
Kansas and Texas, among other States, attempted to prioritize their limited tax dollars, preferring to steer money – and patients – toward continuing and comprehensive caregivers – primary care providers- over reproductive health “boutiques:”
When PP sued, they lost. But Obama arbitrarily stripped the State’s Title X funds and gave the money to PP, anyway.
The “most transparent Administration ever” went further:
In New Hampshire, the administration even refused to disclose information about its direct Planned Parenthood grant, claiming disclosure would harm the nonprofit’s “competitive position.”””
What competition??? That’s pure cronyism and blatant support of the Democrat’s – and Obama’s – pro-abortion political ideology.
Edited 11/12/16: misspelling of Services in first sentence BBB
Tell me why I should believe that “Latinos” are a big homeogeneous blob who don’t care about anything else except immigration, including law and order?
The news yesterday was full of “Latinos” declaring that they have turned away from voting for Donald Trump after his speech on immigration in Phoenix.
These people on the “news channels” and social networks claimed that an entire group of people, all lumped together because of who their parents are or what language they speak, are of the same mindset, and will vote as a block to ensure that some people – dare I say “their people” – are treated differently under the law from everyone else
There’s no justice in ignoring the law. On the contrary, inconsistent enforcement of the law is injustice: it infringes on everyone’s rights. Everyone’s liberty is placed at risk by inconsistent enforcement at the whim of whoever has the biggest gun, the most votes or the latest appointees to the US Distric Attorneys offices and Federal Courts. Whoever has power gets to decide which of us is “more equal.”
Illegal aliens have at least committed a misdemeanor for the first offense. If they’re working, they are probably using false Social Security numbers, possibly committing identity theft – not a victimless crime, even if you believe the reports that illegal aliens contribute more than they cost society.
So, here’s my “Modest Proposal,” with apologies to Vicar Swift.
If you think we should just let illegal aliens hide out for 10 years, then self-report (yeah, sure) , sign up for fines and an English as a Second Language class, how about treating every equivalent infringement the same?
Let us each pick our own tort or crime, to be determined at our convenience. Give everyone a year or 10 – after the fact – to self-report, pay a fine, take a class and go on.
Start with other cases of identity theft, then move on to Federal offenses like voter fraud, money laundering, Medicare and Medicaid fraud and abuse, on to failure to pay the IRS, bank fraud, embezzlement.
After all, it’s only fair.
Watched the John Stossel “Libertarian Town Hall” from August 26th on YouTube. I believe I will “discriminate” against these two. Johnson and Weld don’t seem to understand the basic tenets of either the Libertarian Party or their former Republican Party. They have moved far to the Left and openly advocate force against anyone who works in the public
Basic Ethics: It’s not aggression ( or harmful “discrimination”) to refuse service – to refuse to act. In direct contrast to the statements made by these two, religious freedom is not restricted to “the church” or within the church worship service. Integrity requires that people practice their religion in all aspects of our lives. And, business regulation cannot legitimately be used to enslave by forcing future labor or giving the government the power to allocate private property.
Both men argued that the government may force a Christian baker to bake a cake for a gay wedding. Johnson repeatedly refused to answer Stossel’s question about the Muslim delivery owner being forced to sell pork. Such simple question!
Johnson tried to make a distinction between selling a cake and decorating the cake, calling the latter a matter of free speech. The point is that the right to liberty is an inalienable right which gives rise to religious and speech liberties.
In the cases that have been brought against bakers who won’t sell cakes, the cakes have been *wedding* cakes which are, indeed, decorated. Those cakes would have been the result of future labor, and made to order, not cakes already baked, waiting in a display shelf.
In order to justify Federal interference, Weld said of one program, “The proof is in the pudding.” In other words, the ends justify the means. No, in an ethical world, illicit means are illicit, even if they work.
The bottom line is that neither Gary Johnson nor Bill Weld displayed an understanding of ethics, or the rationale behind Libertarian or Republican policies.
Read the Texas Secretary of State information page on Presidential candidates, here. (http://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/candidates/guide/president.shtml )
I’m not a lawyer, but it appears to me that Texas election laws will prevent Trump from placing his name on the ballot as a 3rd Party candidate in 2016.
Any lawyers disagree?
The common thought is that Donald Trump has enough delegates to win the Republican nomination for President. Trump supporters claim that only an act by “elites,” overriding the “will of the People” at the National Convention could avert his nomination.
The Republican National Convention is absolutely NOT anything like those super delegates appointed by Dem Party leaders. Republican National Convention delegates are elected by Republican voters who have a very real opportunity to become delegates, themselves. Beginning at the Precinct, through the State Convention or Caucus.
However, under current rules – the various State Party rules in place before the individual primaries – there’s a chance Trump will not win the first ballot. If he doesn’t, then he certainly won’t win the second.
In Texas, we actually require our delegates to sign a pledge. We elect delegates proportionally, with a “winner-take-most” method for candidates who received at least 20% of the votes. Cruz, with 44% of the Primary votes, was alotted about 2/3 of the delegates as bound to him on the first ballot. About 1/3 are pledged to vote for Trump, with Rubio getting 3 pledged to him.
Other States have different methods for electing delegates. Some are winner-take-all for the candidate with the most votes, while State Republican Party rules call for “unbound,” “uncommitted,” “unpledged,” or “available delegates. Look at the breakdown and explanations here and here.
Why should someone who got 40% of the votes expect the elected delegates representing the other 60% to vote for him against their conscience?
I hope the former candidates can come together before the Convention to pledge their delegates to one man other than Trump. If they are able, and/or some one other than Trump becomes the Republican candidate for President, we will see representative democracy in action, not a power play by fictional “elites.”
Posted from WordPress for Android. Typos will be corrected!
Donald Trump didn’t win the Primary. Ted Cruz’ campaign won the majority of National Delegates. That distinction may mean the difference at the Republican Convention.
Trump won 40% of the votes in the Republican Primary, with the help of non-traditional, never-voted, and cross-over votes. The 60% of Republican Primary voters who did not vote for Trump are the ones savvy enough to understand the Caucuses and Conventions at the Precinct, County, Senate District, and State levels.o
We are the people who elected the Delegates to the National Republican Convention.
Ted Cruz won what may become the deciding vote: the majority of delegates to the National Convention are his supporters, even from States where Trump won.
Trump demands Party loyalty when it’s his campaign, but the only loyalty he’s demonstrated is his loyalty to candidates who oppose Republicans.
If you can’t donate $25,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Committee (and don’t want to donate to Anthony Weiner or Planned Parenthood’s favorite Senators Daschle, Kerry and Schumer, perhaps you could support the 3rd Party candidate as Trump did in 2009, when he gave the newly Independent candidate, Charlie Crist, $4800.
Look, it’s not “go along to get along” when a man donates tens of thousands to the Democratic National Committee, the (Democratic) National Leadership PAC, and the Democratic Senatorial Committee. That’s partisanship.
In fact, as it’s been reported, Republicans can expect Trump to support us about 40% of the time, Dems, 48%.
Donating to Crist in 2009? That’s anti-Republican.
About 300 delegates to the RPT weren’t Republican.The Platform of the Republican Party of Texas is online under “Platform,” here: http://www.texasgop.org/2016-convention/ . The numbering in this version of the Platform is awkward, but the plank-by-plank votes are reported at the 3rd link, below.
110 even voted against Principle #5, “Personal accountability and responsibility”
Just under 300 voted consistently against what should be non-controversial issues, such as the plank against human trafficking.
(Numbering appears to be a typographical error, hopefully soon corrected. The hard copies we had were much clearer.)
A judge in Pennsylvania rules that anyone born a citizen is a “Natural Born Citizen.”
The judge relies on several pieces of legal scholarship. First, a memo produced in 1968 by Charles Gordon, then the General Counsel of the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service, which says: “The Framers were well aware of the need to assure full citizenship rights to the children born to American citizens in foreign countries.” He also points out a 2011 Congressional Research Service Memo entitled the “Qualification for President and the ‘Natural Born’ Citizenship Eligibility Requirement.” The document concludes:
“The weight of legal and historical authority indicated that the term ‘natural born’ citizen would mean a person, who is entitled to U.S. citizenship ‘by birth’ or ‘at birth’ either by being born ‘in’ the United States and under its jurisdiction, even those born to alien parents; by being born abroad to U.S. citizen-parents.”
Another ruling was handed down March 19 in Utah. This judge dismissed the case due to standing, but also made the comment that Cruz is a US citizen by birth. Other cases in Illinois, Florida and New York have also been dismissed due to legal technicalities.
Seriously, have you ever seen them together? Or Trump in sunglasses?
TRump is a very recently converted –well, mostly converted, except for big government, taxes and tariffs, government healthcare, and using government agencies to pick and choose winners and losers and courts to threaten others – Democrat.
It’s not as though he changed any donation habits more recently than the last two years.
It’s not even as though he’s voted in a Republican primary since 1988.
He believes money and lawsuits are weapons and he is a bully.
He can not or will not give more than anecdotal evidence for any of his other conversion experiences.
He lied as recently as the steak incident – an entirely unnecessary lie, easily discovered.
He has no conservative credentials and does not pretend to apologize for it, even to God.
But he says that a simple majority is “a random number” and demands that the Republicans ignore our Convention rules and let him make up his own.
TRump still lies, redefines words, ignores the rules and history and makes threats when he doesn’t get his way.
Newbie Republican still acts like a Dem.
Posted from WordPress for Android. Typos will be corrected!
If Ted Cruz wins Presidency, it leaves a huge blank if Cruz resigns before Obama is out.
A special election will be called for the next uniform election day or 32 days after election is called.
We’ll need Cruz to resign as soon as elected or wait until inauguration to prevent aggression by the “Office of the Lame Duck President.”
Posted from WordPress for Android. Typos will be corrected!
Watch out for political blogs pretending to be news sites.
As an example, you may have seen the tired attempt by “The Conservative Review,” (to get clicks by) “reporting” the exact opposite of reality and “prove” that the Republican leadership is not effective or Conservative.
Here’s Cornyn’s statement as paraphrased:
“And although Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), the Majority Whip, reiterated his desire that the next president fill the vacancy, he said that holding hearings is entirely up to the Judiciary Committee Chairman and scheduling a floor vote is entirely up to McConnell.”
That “although” is pure spin.
Here’s what he actually said ( from a link in the blog post):
“”It’s *entirely* up to the chairman of the Judiciary Committee whether *even* to schedule a hearing on the president’s nomination,” Cornyn said on “The Mark Davis Show,” a talk show on Dallas-area radio station KSKY. “And *were the nomination to get out* of the Judiciary Committee, it’s *entirely* within the control and discretion of the Senate majority leader, Sen. Mitch McConnell, whether to schedule it for a vote. **Which does demonstrate that majorities do matter**.”” (Emphasis mine)
A bit less supportive, don’t you think?
Isn’t this what we’ve all said in support of waiting to confirm a candidate nominated by the next President? Now, read on down for an emphatically different meaning:
“Cornyn said the presidential election should be a referendum “on who makes that appointment because I think many people simply feel like they don’t recognize their country anymore.””
He added, “It’s entirely up to the Senate whether to confirm that nomination, and I think we should not, and we should defer that to the next president.”
(Again, emphasis mine)
“The Conservative Review,” like Wingright.org, is a blog, not “reporting” by a valid news source.
Huge endorsement from Texas’ Governor Greg Abbott. This is one I had been wondering about.
In a video announcing the endorsement, Abbott said,
“Unlike far too many in Washington, the Ted Cruz we’ve seen in the Senate is the same Ted Cruz we elected and he’s the same Ted Cruz I served with when I was attorney general,” Abbott said.
I was very impressed and very proud of Ted Cruz back in 2009, on the day when Kay Bailey Hutchison announced that she would run one more time as Texas’ Senator. Within minutes, Cruz withdrew his bid for Attorney General, rather than run against General Abbott. Although later I became opposed to his campaign tactics, that moment showed integrity.
( I’m just barely cynical enough to think it also showed good political sense. In fact, that only just occurred to me. Doggone it! I want to believe it was character, not simply savvy politics.)
Cruz needs mentoring – to *accept mentoring* – from both Governor Perry, who has also endorsed Cruz, and from Governor Abbott. I hope that he will.
“”Ronald Reagan made us believe that it was morning in America again, and it was. Now, the children of Reagan are ready to assume the mantle of leadership. . . Those of us who grew up when it was morning in America and Ronald Reagan was in the White House are ready to do for the next generation what Ronald Reagan did for ours!””
Someone named Rich DeOtte has written a Facebook piece attacking friends of mine. Rich mocks Dr. Joe Pojman as “a rocket scientist” and “knucklehead” (needless to say, that’s not popular in the Nuckols household) and takes a slap at Kyleen Wright, of Texans for Life Coalition and the Texas Medical Association.
Dr. Joe Pojman, Ph.D., is indeed a “rocket scientist,” who gave up his original career path of aerospace engineering to sacrifice as founder and Executive Director of Texas Alliance for Life, an organization I’m proud to support and serve as a Board member.
Joe wrote the op-ed that Rich attacks in direct response to the “misrepresentations” in another, political op-ed piece by Emily Kebedeaux Cook on the Texas Right to Life Website. Joe only wrote about issues, and did not engage in name calling or derision. The only reason Emily and TRTL are mentioned is because she’s the author of the political opinion piece about the “decline in the Texas Legislature’s efforts to protect human Life.”
As Joe points out, the very document to which Emily refers refutes her position: Texas was named one of three “Life List All-Stars” for 2016 by the Americans United for Life.
Joe laid out the case that our Texas Legislature’s pro-life laws are most definitely not at a standstill: we are ahead of the Nation. Joe’s position that Texas leaders gave us many successes in the 2015 84th Legislature is supported by the similar list of “Wins” reported by the Texas Catholic Conference, representing the Bishops of Texas. In an earlier letter, TCC notes that many of the criticisms Emily makes in her February 8th blog post were not previously scored “equitably” by TRTL. For instance, Senator Bob Deuell received no credit for authoring much of what became HB2.
In fact, Texas’ Legislative leadership in passing pro-life laws is why many of us are going to Washington, DC on March 2nd to bear witness when the Supreme Court hears testimony on the abortion facility regulations in HB2.
Emily and Rich focus most of their criticism on the efforts of pro-life groups, including doctors like me, to reform end of life care and the Texas Advance Directive Act (TADA). Session after session since it was passed, we in the pro-life community have had our efforts repeatedly blocked by the “death panel” accusations Rich makes and the demands in Emily’s op-ed.
I was one of the doctors appointed to the Texas Medical Association ad hoc committee that evaluated last sessions’ end of life Bills for TMA approval. Our group of doctors agreed to and helped fine tune HB 3074, what Emily called a “modest protection”: prohibiting the removal of Artificially Administered Nutrition and Hydration, including food and water by invasive medical methods like IV’s and “Total Parenteral Nutrition.” We were called anti-life and pro-“death panel” (Rich’s words) for including medical exceptions for the rare circumstances when the patient can’t process the AANH and/or when it actually caused harm.
Those “three strongest Pro-Life bills” that Emily mentioned were included in the “Wins” listed by the TCC. The Bills not only would have forced doctors to continue to indefinitely perform acts that we believe are not medically appropriate as long as a patient or his family demands it. They would have forced all disputes between the doctors practicing medicine and patients or their families into court and add “liability”(civil and criminal penalties) for the doctor.
Forget if you can, that if all disputes go to court judges would be required to determine medical care – to practice medicine – probably based on the testimony of dueling, paid medical expert doctors. Malpractice rates will go up for doctors taking on the most vulnerable patients – the elderly, the trauma victims and the victims of cancer. Those doctors will spend more time in courts, rather than in the ICU. And so will more grieving families.
We found out what happens when malpractice goes up in Texas, before tort reform was passed. Because of the malpractice crisis, there were no neurosurgeons west and south of San Antonio and Houston – none at all in El Paso or all of South Texas. We were losing obstetricians and family doctors willing to deliver babies and offer prenatal care, all over the State.
I don’t know how to translate past physician shortages directly into the possible shortage of doctors providing end of life care. However, I will predict that fewer family doctors, internists, pulmonologists and the ICU intensivists will be able to afford to practice in the ICU. Just as a patient had to be flown to Dallas, San Antonio or Houston from most of Texas for a head injury, only the tertiary medical centers in those cities will be able to staff their ICU’s properly.
Physicians, not hospitals – and certainly not courts – practice medicine in Texas. Doctors must be allowed to practice medicine according to our medical judgment, which is a combination of education and experience, under the watchful eye of the community; not “death panels,” but fellow physicians, nurses, ethicists, lawyers (who may be any of the former) and lay people. In the end, if you force the hands and minds of doctors against their judgment, you will end up with doctors practicing without judgment, and humans with inalienable rights forced to act against our will and in violation of our conscience.
And, now, back to Rich’s Facebook post. Think twice when you read political posts full of personal attacks and name calling. We should be able to discuss politics without, as Emily said in her blog post, “unnecessary, vicious, and vindictive fights inside the Republican Party.”
Edited to fix a name glitch – BBN