It’s now official. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia green lit the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul in 2018. As if there was ever a doubt that such an event could occur in a Saudi Embassy without his knowledge. And President Biden’s response to this latest, non-surprising information is—nothing!
I got to know Scott Gottlieb when we were both working on Capitol Hill in 2009. Scott was then a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a prominent think tank. He was also a real practicing hospitalist. He still is at AEI but since 2009 he has served as President Trump’s first FDA Commissioner (2017-2019) and before 2009 he was a government official at both the FDA and CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) which runs those two large government programs. Scott was a frequent witness at congressional hearings during the run up to the Affordable Care Act representing the Republican point of view.
Both conservatives and liberals have distorted views of government. The conservatives aspire to Ronald Reagan’s view that “government is the problem.” Really? The essential roles for the United States government as laid out in the Preamble to the Constitution suggest otherwise.
If there is anything that true conservatives and die hard libertarians can agree on, it is that deregulation is a good thing. By deregulation I mean the loosening of government constraints and operating rules on the manner in which individuals and companies conduct their business. Deregulation they say leads to greater creativity as the profit motive kicks in. Don’t worry about personal damage. The market will attend to that.
One thing I realized as I grew older and acquired more maladies was that for all of the studying I did in medical school and all the clinical experience I gained in training, I never really understood what it meant to be sick until I got sick myself.
We have had a glimpse into the future and into the past all at once this week in Texas. For very complex reasons, having to do with the way the state chose to distribute power, the period of extreme cold caused the energy grid to groan and creak (see attached op-ed from Houston Chronicle of February 18). That grid is separate from that of the rest of the nation so there was no help in sight. Texans lost power—millions of them including me and probably you, too.
First, the Democrats have opted to use the reconciliation process to force through the covid relief package that President Biden has proposed. This has a price tag currently of $1.9 trillion. This is in excess of anything most Republicans can support making it necessary to use the arcane reconciliation process to get around a sure Republican filibuster and the need for 60 Senate votes to invoke cloture by-passing the filibuster.
It’s the opposite of accountability.
When you forgive someone for doing something wrong, you at least acknowledge that the bad deed occurred. When you forget what someone has done, it’s like it never happened.
I have been avoiding writing about the Trump impeachment trial in the Senate. It seems that it and discussions about it can never get past partisanship. Democrats want to rain holy terror down on Mr. Trump in retaliation for the dreadful fright he and his minions laid on the Congress on January 6.
One letter was all that was needed to know who you were talking about. Emil J Freireich died on February 1 as one of the most distinguished medical oncologists in all of history—and one of the first. In a discipline still demarcated by the lines between doctors who use surgery, radiation or drugs to treat cancer, medical oncology, the use of the drugs, is the newest sub-discipline. It was begun by visionaries at the National Cancer Institute in the mid-1950s. J Freireich was one of those at ground zero.