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Crazy

In this Peggy Noonan column from The Wall Street Journal on October 17, there is but one conclusion to be drawn. The country has gone nuts, or at least its elected representatives have.

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Silly Senate Dance

It does not state anywhere in the Constitution that the Senate has to hold hearings on presidential nominees to the federal judiciary. Rather it is with the Senate’s “advice and consent” that these presidential appointments take effect. It is the Senate that has decided to hold hearings on nominees to the executive and judicial branches and take a vote on confirmation.

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I’m Not Sure

When I was young, I was sure about a lot of things. As I grew older, I became less sure about many things. Usually though, as I matured, I would think a problem through, sift through the available evidence, and come to a conclusion. After all, it was how I was taught to be a doctor.

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Extremes

In an election season like this one, any blogger is going to get a lot of feedback. I am no exception. From what I am reading in my email, there are two big concerns influencing readers and they haven’t gotten enough ink. Until last week.

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To Review

As far as I can make out, the coronavirus pandemic began in Wuhan, China in December or so of 2019. The precise origins of the virus are still not known (see above article). Was it manufactured or did it jump to humans from bats? Or both? No one is sure.

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ACB

I consider myself a middle-of-the road voter. I have voted for both Republicans and Democrats in the past and will this Election Day as well. I never vote straight ticket and even if I wanted to vote straight ticket, I would take the time to check each box.

I write this paragraph only to put into context my support for the whole Trump-Amy Coney Barrett Supreme Court dance.

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Spreading The Virus

It’s official. It’s not the Chinese virus any more. It’s the Republican virus. The news footage of the GOP elite getting together on the White House lawn to celebrate Amy Coney Barrett without masks or social distancing has revealed the source of what is starting to look like a super spreader event that included the president, the first lady, a few senators, the president of Notre Dame and Chris Christie.

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Debating Ourselves

My email was active this morning, Wednesday, September 30, the night after the “Cacophony in Cleveland” known as the first Presidential Debate of 2020. Texts were coming in during the debate. People stopped watching it. They couldn’t stand it.

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President Pelosi

That’s right, friends, there is no Constitutional mandate that your vote for president needs to be counted at all. It has been by convention that the state legislatures have translated the popular vote into the Electoral College numbers. This is not written in stone.

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Who Cares

This may well determine who wins. Who actually cares about who wins the presidential race and who does not. You would think everyone cares, but after the debate on Tuesday night, does anyone?

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Blood Sport

We are about to see the worst of humanity as well as the worst of the American political system following the untimely death of one of my personal heroines, Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She was a pioneer for women and a Jewish woman who represented the best of America in every way.

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RBG

I am not sure that there has ever been a figure on the U.S. political scene who has both embodied a cause and exemplified it at the same time more than Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. If there is someone else, it is Thurgood Marshall. This may be one of those times worth going back to Hollywood to grasp exactly what the people who stood for the cause actually went through to accomplish what they did. In both the films Marshall and On the Basis of Sex, Hollywoodization allows some degree of comprehension of what it must have been like to…

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A Wristwatch

I remember the moment well. In the fall of 1992 upstart “Third Way” Democrat Bill Clinton had managed to get by all the bimbo accusations one candidate could muster (at least until Donald Trump) and was debating the incumbent President of the United States, George H. W. Bush.

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Illusion

The first is a lie. It’s the appearance or perception of something that is not. The second is a disappointment. You had expected one thing and got another, usually producing lesser joy. You were disillusioned. I have been thinking about both of these words a lot of late particularly as it applies to how I try to get at the truth.

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Symptom

Donald Trump is not the cause of the current state of American misery. Had Hillary Clinton won in 2016, we would still have the virus and that’s problem number one. We would still have the fires and climate change. That’s problem number two. The virus would still have caused the economic downturn, but I really doubt Hillary would have done any better although she might have been more honest about it.

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Basic Clinical Research

In 1995, when I became the Associate VP for Clinical and Translational Research at MD Anderson, I was thoroughly unqualified for such a title. I was a bench scientist who had done very little translational research and no clinical research beyond being a fellow in the Medicine Branch of the National Cancer Institute doing the scut work associated with the clinical research of others. I knew how a clinical study was supposed to be run, but little else. I had a lot to learn and many patient faculty members who were kind enough to teach me.

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