New Book Release

Congressional Malpractice: Is Access to Affordable Healthcare A Right or A Privilege?

By Leonard Zwelling, M.D., M.B.A.
Contributing Author, Marianne L. Ehrlich
Forward by Retired U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D.

Published by John M. Hardy Publishing, Houston Texas
ISBN: 978-1-946182-01-2
Release date: 1 March 2018

The Latest From Dr. Leonard Zwelling:

There Is No Defense

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.

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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.

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Third Parties

In a terse editorial in The New York Times on February 1, Michael Tomasky, the editor of the journal Democracy, does a great job explaining why third parties don’t ever rise to prominence in the United States. It has to do with the winner-take-all form of our House elections. Only one person represents a district and that’s the person who got the most votes in the election. He explains that if there were six parties, two doing well, two doing so-so and two doing badly, eventually the two doing badly will throw in with one of the two doing well because the poor performers get tired of being also-rans. Eventually, the two doing so-so will get tired of their fate as well, that is never winning

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In 1993, a bomb exploded in the garage below the World Trade Center in New York City. I guess that was practice. On September 11, 2001, Al Qaeda succeeded where it had failed eight years earlier. Bad guys may very well practice until they get it right.

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Reconciliation And The Byrd Rule

OK kids, time for some Senate arcana.

In 1974, a bill was passed and signed into law that enables the Senate to quickly resolve important fiscal and budgetary issues using a process called reconciliation. The Senate Parliamentarian must agree that there are only fiscal matters in the proposed reconciliation bill (see Byrd Rule in second attachment; for example not a proposal for DC statehood) and the Senate can pass the bill with only 50 plus one yea votes.

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Wikipedia has a long etymology of the word that seems to have its origins in a phrase for “pirate,” but now means the act of blocking a bill in the Senate by a single senator.

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One Truth

There has been much written and even more discussed about whether or not Americans of different political stripes are living in two alternate realities. It sometimes seems that way. If Democrats believe Biden won and Republicans such as those who marched on the Capitol think that Trump really won (74% of Republicans think Biden’s win is illegitimate), there are two realities and only one can be right.

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The Parties Split

Lost in the contest for president were the two contests for the heart and soul of the traditional American political parties.

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First, Justice

While David Brooks makes a strong case for “Biden Optimism” in the second article above, the more cogent points are made by Astead W. Herndon in the first piece about the aftermath of the 2017 white supremacist demonstration and riot in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017. Mr. Biden’s message of unity not withstanding, there still needs to be some accountability for the riot in Charlottesville and the one in Washington, DC on January 6. The Nazis cannot go unpunished this time.

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