“It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into”

Jonathan Swift
"The Democrats have moved to the right, and the right has moved into a mental hospital." - Bill Maher
"The city is crowded my friends are away and I'm on my own
It's too hot to handle so I gotta get up and go

It's a cruel ... cruel summer"

Friday, September 25, 2009

Media Bias Redux

As those of you who follow this blog will recall, a few days ago we had a discussion about media bias in the comments section.

I just posted below and on The Amarillo Independent Web site a story about John Hicks no longer being chief executive at Baptist St. Anthony's Health System.

When I referred to media bias and how different media outlets handle the actual information, this is a perfect example. I normally don't paste in totally a story from the Amarillo Globe-News, but I have known them to change their content on their Web site. Here is how they handled the story:

John Hicks, the only person to serve as chief executive of Baptist St. Anthony's Health System since its 1996 formation, announced today he will leave the hospital. A news release from BSA didn't give a reason for his departure.
"We are fortunate to have a strong and experienced senior leadership team at BSA, along with quality physicians and nursing staff, so we anticipate a smooth transition with no impact at all on patient care," board Chairman Bob Schneider said in a statement.
Bob Williams, a longtime vice president for BSA and High Plains Baptist Hospital, will assume the role of interim CEO.
-- Staff writer David Pittman

The fact is that Hicks did not "announce today he will leave the hospital."

The opening paragraphs of the story and the Indy reflect the tone of what happened and of the news release.

I can't think of a better illustrates than this of how when different media handle a story with their own bias you get an entirely different perspective on what happened.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

New England Journal of Medice holds health reform roundtable

New England Journal of Medice holds health reform roundtable

Posted using ShareThis

The Republican Base

Hey righties! Here is an experiment you can include in the new "Jesus Approved" science textbook for Texas!

Glen Beck is f***ing crazy. He describes himself as a rodeo clown, which is a disgusting insult to real rodeo clowns who actually face down charging bulls.

Glenndie just cries on his teevee show.

But last night was too weird for even his bizarre sociopathic performance art.

No sh*t, he boils a frog alive on his show trying to make a point about . . . I dunno.

How much does this jackhole make again? And this is on a "news" network?

Just sayin' . . .

-Prodigal Son

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

What should medical center be?

Last week we wrote about how the board and top management of Baptist St. Anthony’s Health System did not take salary cuts while the hospital laid off some 50 workers.
We have since heard that the hospital also approached doctors who take emergency call, sending a letter to them asking them to take a 20 percent pay cut. We are working on obtaining a copy of that letter.
Earlier this week, we also broke a story with ProNews 7 about how the Amarillo Area Foundation rejected Mayor Debra McCartt’s attempt to get the Harrington Regional Medical Center and AAF together to try to settle their differences.
About the only things that BSA and Northwest Texas Healthcare System agree on are that smoking is bad for you and they don’t want to be part of the HRMCI.
Last year, BSA launched a multipronged war against Northwest. The hospital rattled a saber by recruiting the highly regarded emergency physician group, placing a helicopter in Guymon, Okla., and making noises about seeking designation as a trauma center. BSA also spent thousands of dollars to build a new neonatal intensive care unit
No one openly made a case that Northwest was below par in either emergency care or neonatal intensive care. And it’s because they couldn’t.
Both of those services are well known in the region, not just Amarillo, to be excellent. Neonatal ICU was supported by Texas Tech University’s medical school.
The decision to launch this competition was irrational at best and mendacious at worst. And BSA is a nonprofit institution that gets tax breaks for being a responsible corporate member of the community.
The fact that Northwest is a for-profit isn’t a reason for the hammer-and-tongs competition. In fact, it’s the wrong thing to do.
McCartt did the right thing by trying to bring these two organizations to the table with a mediator. It brings to mind a wonderful quote attributed to Benjamin Franklin in the play and movie “1776”: “There is no idea so dangerous it can’t be talked about.”
Clearly something is amiss.
I can’t tell you what is wrong. If someone could, I’d love to know what it is. For a city that places such a premium on getting along, these breaches are a mystery.
As I understand the history of the medical center, those forward-looking folks 40 years ago wanted the medical center to be modeled after Texas Medical Center in Houston. But the big city’s medical center is structured in a quite different way from Amarillo’s. First, none of the hospitals has a seat on the TMC board. In addition, the TMC runs the infrastructure: the common laundry, maintenance of the roads, lawns and the common utility system that provides steam and air conditioning.
The heavyweights at the table in Houston, without a seat at the board, at least don’t have that sandbox in which to fight, were they inclined to fight at all.
The list of institutions that are part of TMC reads like a Who’s Who in medical care. Who hasn’t heard of M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, which is part of the University of Texas? Or, St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital, Memorial Hermann or the Methodist Hospital?
People can accuse me of being a lot of things, but unrealistic isn’t one of them. What Amarillo has isn’t what Houston has. But it had the potential to emulate the model.
Hindsight is 20-20, of course.
I don’t think it’s too late to regroup and try again.
Texas Tech is doing its part by buttressing its services and academic medicine capabilities.
But the lack of leadership, the vacuum of a vision that is embraced by the entire medical community and the region, is evident.
Who will step up and openly ask the key question for Amarillo? Although a friend posed this to me, I’ll put it in the open: What is a medical center?
And, I’ll add my question. What vision does Amarillo have for a medical center and who is to lead the way toward that vision?
Now, who will step up and answer these questions?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

"SiCKO" Film Screening in Canyon, TX, Tuesday, 9/22/09, 7pm!

You're Invited
to a
FREE Public Screening
Michael Moore's
Urgent, U.S. Healthcare System Documentary, "SiCKO"

When: Tuesday, September 22, 2009, 7:00 p.m.
Where: West Texas A&M University Campus, Jack B. Kelley (JBK) Student Center Legends Club, (JBK is building 2 on this map: http://www.wtamu.edu/about/campus_map.aspx)
Sponsored by: The WTAMU Democrats
Contact: lcaidalphabravo@yahoo.com

"This one is likely to strike home with anyone, left or right, who has had serious illness in the family."
-- Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun Times

C-U there! Tell your friends!


Lisa Caid

Friday, September 18, 2009

It's called Faux News for a reason

Talk about Fox New and ethics? Look at the producer in the green shirt.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

It's not what I wanted but I'll take it.

The Senate Finance Committee released their Health Care Bill today. We have to start somewhere.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Another AGN drivel editorial

I can’t believe how poorly understood the health care issue is — or perhaps how so committed to the Republican-conservative viewpoint and agenda that a newspaper would want to spread disinformation. But the editorial in the Sept. 15 Amarillo Globe-News (http://www.amarillo.com/stories/091509/opi_opin1.shtml) did just that.

Here are some specific problems.

“He (President Barack Obama) needs to go all the way - by inviting Republicans into the White House, and to consult with them personally with their ideas on how to improve the system.”

Iowa’s Sen. Charles Grassley, the blowhard GOP hit man on health care, was part of meetings at the White House last May. The visit was not only well documented in the media it was also posted on Grassley’s own Web site. Here is the interchange between Grassley and a reporter:

QUESTION: Thank you, Senator. Will you talk to us about your White House visit last week,


GRASSLEY: Yes. I can tell you a lot about it. I won't quote any other person present. There was four of us there. No staff. The president, the vice president, Senator Baucus, and me. We went more of our time talking about health care reform, more about process than


The president made very clear to me that he wants a bipartisan proposal -- I mean, a bipartisan product. And I think he best indicated that by saying that he did rather that a bipartisan one and get part of what he wants than getting all that he wants -- all of what he wants with a partisan vote.

And there was just good change, good atmosphere. The president is very disarming. You feel very much at home. You know, so anything else you want to know, ask me.

The editorial goes on to tout Rep. Mac Thornberry’s column in the Globe-News and suggest Mac has the right answer: tort reform. The editorial said, “One idea for improving the system, said Thornberry, is to set up ‘health courts’ in which doctors and hospitals are ‘judged by their peers.’”

Mac’s suggestion isn’t original. In fact, it will protect screw-up doctors more than ever. New Mexico has this system and, believe it or not, it’s administered by the New Mexico Medical Society. Not many patients win at this level and if they go to court after that, they have and even poorer chance of prevailing.

And none of this addresses that the tort reform in Texas hasn’t lowered costs; that good studies have shown that the effect of tort reform-defensive medicine accounts for less than 1 percent of the total GDP devoted to health care.

But I have a suggestion: If the medical community wants national tort reform, here’s what the public should get in return – (1) All the information in the National Practitioners Data Bank becomes public record; (2) All complaints filed with every state medical board becomes public record, as do all of the adjudication process, including testimony and exhibits. Let’s treat it like a real court case; (3) All hospital (no exemptions for private, government, military, or any hospital) peer review records become public (including morbidly and mortality committee information); and, (4) Hospitals will be required to compute and post case-mix adjusted morbity and mortality rates for all attending physicians on staff.

That’s change I can believe in.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Damn Liars

When will they start telling the truth?

Posted Sept. 9 - 9:55 p.m. - I can’t help but wonder about Rep. Charles Boustany, Jr., M.D., R-La., who gave the lame Republican response to President Obama’s speech on health care. Like every other Republican, he condemned “government-run health care.” Just like our own Mac Thornberry, he parroted the GOP talking points like a good little junior congressman, just as he was told to do by Karl Rove, Rush Limbaugh and others.

“The president had a chance tonight to take government-run health care off the table,” he said. “Unfortunately, he didn’t do it.”

But if Boustany is so against “government-run health care,” where would he be if he examined how he got educated and trained? First, he got his bachelor’s from either Louisiana State University in New Orleans or the University of Louisiana in Lafayette, La., according to different sources. He got his medical degree from Louisiana State University Medical School in 1982, according to his own Web site. Oops. That’s government-run health care.

According to the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners Web site, which doesn’t show where he did residency and fellowship training, he has no complaints filed against him although Politico reported he was a defendant in an unspecified number of malpractice suits. However, the Web site gives little other information about him, such as verifying whether he is board certified.

He spent some time in Rochester, NY, according to Wikipedia, but that doesn’t indicate what he did there. But, he worked at Charity Hospital of Louisiana. Funny thing about Charity: It’s owned by the State of Louisiana and was for many years the primary teaching hospital for LSU medical school. Oops. That’s government-run health care.

The president said he will start to call out the opposition to health care reform for their lies. Obama did so when he referred to the Whacko-in-Chief Republican Sarah Palin and her “death panel” trash talk. She did so again today in the Wall Street Journal, which now lacks credibility with Rupert Murdoch at the helm.

So I join the president and it starts here and starts now.

If Boustany finds public, i.e., government-run health care, such an anathema, let him turn in his public college and med school degrees.

Friday, September 04, 2009


I should give kudos when kudos are due.

Jon Mark Beilue: Country's ingorance is scary sometimes

Holy F**K! Enough!

Be warned . . . I ain't holding back here . . .

Have you had enough yet? We busted our asses getting democratic majorities in the senate and house, AND the white house.

Is it me, or have the grassroots become expendable? We must give up OUR position on single payer and the public option to make a few MINORITY PARTY hairy-eyed republican anarchists in the senate and David f**king Broder comfy cozy? And then the rethugs shit on whatever pops up anyway. Rahm Emmanual's response to us so far has been, "Unhappy? Go somewhere else then!"

Republicans have been absolutely batshit insane since Feb 20th. Rather than discourage the fringe haters, they have whipped them into a frenzy, only for the purpose of torpedoing Obama. Reasonable repubs? WTF are they? I don't read any reasonable repub LTE's in the paper. Just the haters.

It's Obama Derangement Syndrome. . . only veeeeeery deranged for real.

Well . . . it has been seven months. Obama has had an enormous pile of steaming disaster handed to him by the MASTER of f**king everything up and then running out the back door, but the first big initiative is health care.

We need medicare for all. We need the public option, and it is useless to try to talk to someone frothing at the mouth, and calling you traitor! Socialist! Nazi! Dixie Chicks lover! (Sorry . . . flashback to 2003 there . . .)

Thanks to Liberalator for bringing up calling the white house.

I am changing my message, and it is this, "Mr. President, no affordable public option or medicare for all, no money or vote from me in 2012. PERIOD!"

Care to join me? 202-456-1414

-Prodigal Son

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

NOW, President Obama!

In conversation with my son awhile back, he put me on to something I should have been doing for months but hadn’t thought of. It’s something all of us must be doing, and encouraging their friends, relatives and co-workers to do.

He said every Monday morning he calls (and now I also) the White House comment line and politely but firmly tells the answerer that candidate Obama said he would work to pass Universal Health Care, Single Payer and get us out of Iraq. He (and I) tells the answerer that we have already compromised from Single Payer to Public Option, and can’t see that he is laying his presidency on line for either. My son (and I) says “please tell the president that NOW is the time to draw the line in the sand, and rise or fall with the bill to make Health Care Universal with the Public Option."

Start calling today. The White House number is 1-202-456-1414. Ask to leave a comment. Be prepared to wait five or ten minutes for your turn, and then politely but firmly DEMAND THE PUBLIC OPTION (or single payer, your choice) and anything else you want to add. I also go to www.Whitehouse.gov , click on “CONTACT us” in the upper right hand corner and pass on the same message – every week! It is easy, is not intimidating, costs nothing but a little time, and is vital.

The president needs to hear from millions that there is no option but the Public Option – add your name to that list of progressives/liberals that is speaking out.

Telephone: 1-202-456-1414, ask to leave a comment
www.Whitehouse.gov, click on “CONTACT us