Happy New Year 2023


Happy New Year 2023


Leonard Zwelling

It’s that time again. Time to look forward to the new calendar year and, of course, to make resolutions. The same is true at the home of the blog, where, beyond the need to eliminate long foreign trips with a lot of walking, a few other resolutions have been made.

The first is to find balance in the subject matter of the blogs. There is no doubt that the largest following of the blog is among the faculty and staff of MD Anderson, but more than a few readers have noted that they would rather read the ones about something besides the cancer center on Holcombe. I will try to strike a better balance in the new year.

Second, with much perseverance and not a small amount of money, my co-author Marianne L. Ehrlich and I should be publishing our six-year effort, a novel called Conflict of Interest. It is medical story set in the present that weaves the tale of the many characters, failures, and triumphs that churn in a modern academic center when money becomes more important than patient care as the primary mission of the institution. You get my drift. Hopefully out this spring and available on Amazon and other on-line book sellers. Stay tuned for more news.

Third, the blog is going to strive to find a positive message in American politics though I fear that even as early as this week the rancor on Capitol Hill will be overwhelming should the House not be able to arrive at consensus on a Speaker. (They are three ballots in as of this writing, with no winner).  I learned recently that the Speaker does not need to be a member of the House. You could be elected Speaker of the House and be two heart beats from the Oval Office, but don’t quit your day job.

What is clear about the future of the politics of America is:

  1. It is still all about the economy. I suspect that if things do not improve greatly over the next six to twelve months (inflation cools and supply chain is restored) and if the Republicans can really shake themselves free of Trump and choose a front-runner early (DeSantis?), President Biden will bow out and we will have two primary fights for the Presidential nominations. Neither Trump nor DeSantis will go unchallenged.
  2. It is still very unclear which force will dominate the GOP, Trumpism or traditional GOP policies of low taxes, growth, and a strong foreign face. If the Trumpists continue to be on top, and the Democrats feel it, Biden may try to run again and that would not be a good omen for anyone.
  3. Expect the unexpected. Covid is certainly exhibit one as I really believe that Trump would have won in 2020, had Covid not challenged is leadership and management skills. That surprise could come at home, from abroad or from both. Guns will still be with us as will abortion rights, aggressions against minorities, and Russia and China.
  4. I think that after several years now of domestic economics and public health leading our discussions, foreign affairs will grow in importance as the globe is shrinking further as globalization shows no signs of ending and as North Korean missiles extend their reach. Will the world use this opportunity to act together in areas like climate change or will we stumble on toward Armageddon as snow storms and floods engulf us?

We at the blog will try to address whatever seems to be out in front of us. But don’t be fooled. This blog still wants to encourage the MD Anderson faculty to man (or woman) up and actively work to change the administration and its relation to the faculty.

I don’t believe that this Anderson president listens to anyone any more than the last one did. I am more convinced than ever that the people who seek these high offices are disqualified to hold them because they want them. Their egos are outsized and their visions narrow beyond what’s good for them. I believe that to be true in Houston. I believe that to be true in Washington. And it’s certainly true in Beijing and Moscow. That’s what makes these guys (and it’s all guys) so dangerous.

We’ll keep an eye out. I promise. Happy New Year!

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