Status Georgia’s 9th CD Needs a Democratic Director —

[Speaking as a concerned Democrat]

Georgia’s Ninth District Needs a
GOOD DEMOCRAT!
The Democratic Directer for the 9th CD is OPEN.

People are signing up to run.The State Committee needs some good choices. Your COUNTY PARTY chairs have had all the necessary information for some time now. If it has not been passed on or otherwise publicized check with your county party.

Below the pertinent section of the DPGl

BYLAWS ARTICLE V
CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT CHAIRS

SECTION 1. ELECTION

Historical Note: BL5.1.1 was originally BL3.5 (Article III, Section 5) of the revised Bylaws
approved May 22, 2004. By Amendment July 29, 2006 BL3.5 was moved to this BL5.1.1.

BL5.1.1 Immediately following completion of the election of the State Officers and such acceptance speeches and other related actions as shall be required, the meeting shall be recessedby the Chair, to allow the delegates to meet by Congressional Districts, to elect Congressional

District Chairs.

BL5.1.2 State Committee Members shall meet according to the Congressional District inwhich such Members reside, under the Chairmanship of the existing Congressional DistrictChair, unless such Chair is placing himself or herself for re-election, in which case the State Chair shall appoint a Congressional District Caucus Chair to conduct the election process in suchCongressional District (which shall be the Vice-Chair, unless such Vice-Chair is placing himself or herself for election).

BL5.1.3 To the extent not provided for in the Charter, the Bylaws, or the Rules of the Convention, the most recently revised edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern the conduct of all Congressional District Caucuses. All rulings as to interpretation shall be made bythe Chair presiding at a Congressional District Caucus.

BL5.1.4 Those persons interested in running for a Congressional District Chair position shall file an “intent to run” statement with the State Party office no later than ten days before the State Committee meeting. A non-State Committee Member wishing to run for a Congressional District Chair must submit such “intent to run” with the endorsement of no less than thirty State Committee Members and submit same no later than ten days before the State Committee meeting.

BL5.1.5 All votes shall be by a show of hands or signed paper ballot as determined by each Congressional District Caucus Chair.

BL5.1.6 A quorum for the purpose of a Congressional District Caucus shall be a majority of the seated State Committee Members residing in that particular Congressional District.

Amended July 29, 2006. See BL10.3.620

BL5.1.7 Pursuant to the procedure for the Election of Congressional District Chairs under the Charter and Bylaws, each Congressional District Caucus shall proceed to elect by a majority of those State Committee Members present and voting, provided a quorum is present, a Congressional District chair.

Amended July 29, 2006. See BL10.3.6

BL5.1.8 Once the Congressional District Chair has been elected, such Chair shall appoint a Vice-Chair, except that the Vice-Chair shall be of the opposite gender of the Chair. In case of a vacancy in the position of Congressional District Chair, the Vice-Chair shall serve as Chair untilthe State Committee Members from the district elect a new Chair. If there is any vacancy of a Vice-Chair, the Congressional Chair may appoint a replacement Vice-Chair.

SECTION 2. DUTIES

BL5.2.1 Each Congressional District Chair shall within their respective Congressional Districts coordinate the affairs of the Party, assist in the election of Democratic Members of Congress, review reports of the activities and membership of County Committees, assist County Committees in their operation and compliance with the Charter and Bylaws, and perform othersuch duties as may be delegated to them by the State Committee and Executive Committee.Each Congressional District Chair shall also appoint a District Coordinating Committee fromamong State Committee members residing within their Congressional Districts to assist in thperformance of these duties.

BL5.2.2 If a County lies in more than one Congressional District, the Congressional District Chairs and the County Chair for that County shall decide among themselves which Congressional District Chair shall be the Chair for that County.

BL5.2.3 Whenever a county does not have a chartered County Committee, the Congressional District Chair may appoint a person to act as that County Chair.

ACA – A radical restructuring of health care

The various provisions of the ACA are kicking in and I am alarmed at what I see as serious design flaws that in the name of cost cutting will radically change the nature of the practice of medicine. I am posting my observations and some links to the professional journals etc. with examples of recommendations and policies. I have no doubt this is leading and will lead to significant suffering and deaths because of inevitable cuts in benefits made available to the public, especially those available for the sicker and older patients unless some of the provisions are undone.

This process  of deterioration in care will be the result of primarily two things written into the ACA. First; the law “mandates a national comparative outcomes research project agenda. ….. Evidence-based medicine is the conscientious, explicit, and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients.” —–   http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21860057 .

The second provision that will profoundly influence treatment decisions is inclusion of provider monetary incentives and dis-incentives. This in essence is setting fees higher for physicians who treat less than those who treat more.

I am working on finding a better framing for communicating in more understandable language facts and concerns and will keep at it here on this site.In effect the aim is to ration care and place the responsibility for the means of cost cutting on the physician. This to be accomplished by adding a cost or “greater good” parameter to the Hippocratic tradition of physician as exclusively serving the best interests of patients (even beyond the interests of the physician him/herself). The Times report describes this with the greater clarity and I am reposting a link to it.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/18/business/treatment-cost-could-influence-doctors-advice.html

The several pressures placed on the physician by the ACA creates a situation of divided loyalties to a degree I find unacceptable.  I see it as truly changing 4000 years in very disturbing ways. Instead of being faithful to the mandates of Hippocratic ethic physicians planning what treatment will be offered to their patients, physicians are placed in the position of determining what has highest priority, most effective in preserving life and relief of suffering?  or  by limiting treatment options serving a “greater good?”  This to be defined as economic burden on an ill defined entity; These considerations while worrying about his/her income security.  Fortunately there is some stirring in the profession to question, if not protest.  I urge the public to inform themselves and support any protest efforts.

The quoted definition of the ACA mandated entities determining best “evidence based treatment guidelines”  sound solid  and  scientific.  They are in fact not doing research following scientific method. They are in greater part simply doing reviews of published material  (reading) and applying statistical analysis to make their determination. They do not pretend to always be able to determine consequences when recommending cessation or decrease in services. The radical decrease in breast cancer screening and treatment  now being proposed is an example in which the authors of published reports admit that they cannot prove that lives will not  be lost. There is no doubt that suffering will be increased.  They casually say a later diagnosis is no problem because we now have effective chemotherapy.

Today’s JAMA has two revealing reports of just how it is visualized physicians will be determining treatment. The full articles are behind a pay wall but there is sufficient available free to understand and appreciate the documentation for my observations. I can arrange for full copies for special circumstances however for anyone wanting details.

The first is explicit. In just how this cost consideration is incorporated.

http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleID=1861810&utm_source=Silverchair%20Information %20Systems&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=MASTER%3AJAMALatestIssueTOCNotification04%2F22%2F2014

This second is actually presenting another cost saving change in a thousands of years practice, that of not requiring explicit permission to give life saving emergency treatment to a patient unconscious, or otherwise unable to communicate.  But I included it to give some idea of just how the thinking is going.

http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleID=1861784&utm_source=Silverchair%20Information %20Systems&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=MASTER%3AJAMALatestIssueTOCNotification04%2F22%2F2014

I am trained in pediatrics, pediatric oncology, psychiatry and child psychiatry.These observations and interpretations I make as a physician who has over some 40 years done clinical research as an NCI principle investigator with special training in ethics or experimental treatments; taught medical students as a member of the faculty of a large medical school; and served as specialist and delivering primary bed side medical care.

Why March?

©16 January 2014

In coming days marches celebrating the life and legacy of native Atlantan
Martin Luther King, Jr. will held in Northeastern Georgia. I wish I had the knees, back and lungs willing to march.

Each January I revive my intial memoir of Martin Luther King and the earlier days of the movement.

This year I make especial note of the cause in which Dr. King was organizing in Memphis was for workers’ rights to a decent standard of living. Today the unjust maldistirbution of power and wealth to Wall Street and the multinational corporations  (along with climate change) is the most critical problem that must be addressed. We cannot continue the economics of austerity with lavish tax exceptions and subsidies to an unregulated corporate elite while dismantling social insurance and welfare programs.  Even the manager of much of this disparity, Alan Greenspan, (unapologetically) acknoweledges the failure of his and the other economists presuppositions that led to  numbing of the soul of our once vibrant culture. This must change.

Today if I could march; any advocating for changes in the service of moral imperatives as well as pragmatics; that is where I would be.

Ye shall find him in a manger

mangerbanner

I think I have likely perplexed you my loved ones by choosing in recent years to celebrate this Christmas Eve and Day in apparent solitude. I will explain. I am far from alone and most comfortable. Being by the telephone (and now at the computer) listening and communicating with the souls “out there” seems the most natural.

I celebrate all those I have spent so many holidays beside. Perhaps it is the agony of observing the processes of determining the obligations we as a nation shall follow in caring for all of our flock that has made me so aware in recent years. Or perhaps it is a wonderful experience I am having following a thread on the Grant County, Wisconsin Rootsweb list. There is a researcher who stands out in his determination to learn about his family roots. A few years a he posted a question about a relative whose remains had been sent to the University of Wisconsin.

I pulled this man’s obituary and death certificate off the web. The first is a notice of the November 1930 death of a man then unidentified. “Clad in overalls and an army overcoat, the man about 40 or 50 years old, was found in a manger in the stables where he had evidently gone to sleep. He had curled up in the feed box, his shoes off and overcoat drawn over him. It is believed he died of exposure.” 

The coroner’s report states the remains were given over to the Anatomy Department of the Univ. of Wisconsin.

As was the case for all physicians of my time my first patient was a cadaver, a man with no history and no headstone in his future. At the time and off and on since we all wonder but never take the time to find out the history of these martyrs to the better lives of others.  Mostly they are the so called “losers” and “failures,” the misbegotten who are no longer connected to family or friends. I place them among other saviours, many whose contribution to humankind comes in their death.

Then here comes a great nephew owning relationship and seeking information relentlessly. I recall my brother David and nephew Greg’s excited call from the graveside of our Rolla Hirst, and their efforts this past summer to find more of the recluse William Clark. If we are to be good shepherds we will know each of our flock.

On one of the weblogs a woman calling herself Selise reminds us; “solidarity means leaving no one behind,” then quotes Eugene Debs: “Years ago I recognized my kinship with all living things, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on the earth. I said then and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it; while there is a criminal element, I am of it; while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.

Yes. This is when it begins to feel  like Christmas.

Another serious problem with the ACA

I don’t think people realize how marginal medical care is right NOW in the US — observably and in comparison with the other developed nations; and some not so developed. I am truly concerned at the damage being done to the entire system by these “glitches” in the ACA Get ready. The small business delay IMO is big and won’t get lost in the holidays.

The poor in need of Medicaid expansion and small businesses represent a huge percentage of those to be benefited by the ACA. The states are torpedoing the Medicaid expansion and now there will be a full year delay in help for small business, which tends to have a loud voice. IMO this does not bode well for the overall program. ( I try not to waste time gnashing my teeth at the incompetence in the Obama administration which is the cause of much of the hazards to the program.)

Don’t waste your time complaining I am just being negative. Put the energy into supporting what is working. But IMO be ready.

My take on the current position of the health care act

This is a cross post of my comment on a FaceBook entry. I like how I have said it and thought it worthwhile to be sharing here. I have no interest in partisanship around this essential need for our nation. I have made some minor edits from the original.

We need not just the politicians and business people to strive to make it  [the ACA] work. We need all of us.

IMO if the Media, GOP and Blue Dogs continue to criticize and, (in the case of the Senate, House and States) actively obstruct implementation of critical aspects the ACA is in danger of collapsing from its greatest design flaw, reliance on  market driven private forces. It is irrational to assume private insurance or employers  in private business to facilitate anything they see not in their short term bottom line.

Remember funding to hospitals for care of the uninsured is gone. The GOP led states could partially remedy this by voluntarily expanding Medicaid. Otherwise  a number of small hospitals will close and in desperation there will be little choice but to divert from Medicare benefits to support emergency room treatment of the poor. If insurance companies are given a legal way out of complying with ACA required  benefits by the GOP in the House and Blue Dogs in the Senate, that will add to an even greater number of uninsured in the emergency room. 

If the media continues to distort the ordinary properties of insurance of any kind., the anger resentment and splitting among us could be enough in its own right to bring it down. You pay when you can for the times that may happen when you can’t.

A society is held together by sharing risk. It cannot not survive without sharing.

I am Malala – a review

This is an informative book, making almost comprehensible many of the cultural/religious streams of thought that create and influence the politics and movements in the cultures of Pakistan, especially the tribal lands. The ghost writing is evident in the reportorial style of writing but acceptable considering the nature of the book. Malala presents as a genuinely intellectually sophisticated young woman who is answering a call to human rights activism. She is already an impressive world presence.

The real hardships and obstacles to even a modicum of freedom especially for women in the region are pictured with clarity. They are testimony to the passion and determination of the Yousafzai family to overcome and forward the education of their people. The father, and I believe the mother, are intellectuals in their own right. We hear more of the father’s influence but I believe both must be given responsibility and praise for their exceptional child Malala.

To experience the immersion in fundamental religionism and at the same time comprehend the violence inherent in the culture described in the book is almost overwhelming. It was not the first time and will not be the last time I have shuddered at the impact of violence; but the callous coarsening of everyday life that casual bloody violence brings presents a huge obstacle to the ends Malala Yousafzai seeks. Misogyny a distinct and softer obstacle is equally powerful in that it forms a major supporting structure of the religion fundamental in the lives of the indigenous of the area.

This is a political book. I mean no insult in making that observation but noting it as a harbinger of a powerful woman emerging in the world’s public arena; if she is permitted to live. I cannot resist prophetic commentary. Not a focus of the narrative, but what is there confirms the irrelevance and futility of empire and national power, with all its capacities to kill and intimidate and plunder, contribute little worth while in the long arc of history. The conversation quoted with the late Richard Holbooke is telling.

This is an easy and satisfying read that encourages the reader to give attention to, not only this young woman, but to those martyrs for civil liberties who have risked and, more often than not lost, all in the service of their cause.

Comment on: “Tom Watson’s mean streak maligned his political foes”

W L Watkins
W L Watkins

This is in response to a Gainesville Times column y Johnny Vardeman that appeared in the October 27, 2013 issue.

Mr. Vardeman’s column may be read here: http://www.gainesvilletimes.com/section/101/article/90744/

Statues of individuals in the environs of governing are put there not just to tell history but to celebrate the individual. “Mean streak indeed!” It is hard to find any tyrant in history that has not done some good for some people and certainly does not excuse the evil. Anyone who has read extensively the history and especially the words of Tom Watson understand what a travesty it has been to celebrate this man with statues or words. Looking at Georgia history, perhaps it would be just as well if more statues did start to fall like flies.

The blood on the hands of our deep south forebeares who committed and sustained a system of profound evils toward fellow humans is passed to the hands of the descendants and will not be washed away as long as we continue to declare solidarity with “heritage of that nature.”

Sadly until remorse for the sins of the fathers is experienced and expressed this region will continue to be seen as pariah by many in the rest of the nation and the world. The people who hold on also continue to suffer through being inhibited in reaching full promise because, deservedly or not, they are judged on actions and opinions coming from the region and deprived of easy access to many of the opportunities this nation provides.

The sins of the fathers are destiny only for those who let them be. Looking at the corruption (and just plain meanness in depriving large numbers of our poor of health care) by Nathan Deal, the man with the silver tongue who was promised great achievement by his political forebearers, one wonders.

Mr. Vardeman’s column may be read here: http://www.gainesvilletimes.com/section/101/article/90744/

 

 

Times special report: Is the health act affordable?

This is a transcription of my comments on the Gainesville Times article by the above title in today’s paper.

But the real question is not can we afford what is essential for life? The question more appropriately is:

Can the United States afford to serve up the ill and disabled as a source for immense corporate profits?

IMO a legitimate criticism of the ACA is that it does indeed, well beyond that of other developed nations, assure continued high profits for private sector corporate industries. Efforts to decrease cost to consumer are largely based on the ACA focus to diminish utilization through incentives to medical care providers; paying less for more care. Yes. A sick patient becomes a liability. But he/she remaining sick is a money source in the current system. It is fair to say perverse incentives are being looked at critically by many in and out of government and insurance companies. IMO this will likely be remedied by future tweaks in reimbursement criteria.

That said; IMO essential health service cannot be managed on the principles of a business intended to make high profits.

We must afford health care. What we cannot afford is to simply provide customers for high profit industries and investors.

Original Article: The Times of Gainesville, Georgia
http://www.gainesvilletimes.com/section/6/article/89090/

Thoughts on energy

From my  summary comments on The Times of Gainesville, Georgia blog last week.

There is no doubt we have already been delayed in making the critical decisions around energy for far too long. It now is, if possible, even more vital that the sources of information on which these decisions are made and supported be examined in detail. A change over under best of circumstances has to be gradual with focus on some areas more than other. The longer the delay the more disruptive the changes will be.

This long delay in acting on preventing and modifying the climate change being caused by carbon emissions has perversely at least given the people a chance to examine the track records of these well funded advocates of expansion of poisonous fuel sources. They would have us ignore the overwhelming consensus among the scientific community as to facts of carbon emission caused warming, and now the risks calculated by investor class in regard to nuclear power.

The science as to warming is settled and the documentation in the scientific literature is plentiful. The problems of nuclear are self evident. The creation of waste, dangerous to man forever, and what to do with it is the first. A second has shown itself in the inevitable unpredictable accidents of man and nature that create vast unlivable areas of devastation or contamination that endure endure operationally forever.