Friday, June 25, 2004

A Nice Pic of Some Ocean Ripples

It's sort of a shame that woman got in the way, but look around her...

It Ain't What You Say, It's How You Say It

From Sisyphus Shrugged comes this gem of a strategy memo from Frank Luntz, Professor Emeritus of Republican Whoredom...

The overwhelming amount of language in this document is intended to create a lexicon for explaining the policy of “preemption” and the “War in Iraq.” However, you will not find any instance in which we suggest that you use the actual word “preemption,” or the phrase “The War in Iraq” to communicate your policies to the American public. To do so is to undermine your message from the start. Preemption may be the right policy, and Iraq the right place to start. But those are not the right words to use.

Read the whole thing, then keep score at home and see who all was supposed to get a copy.

Monday, June 21, 2004

License?? We Don't Need no Steenking License!!

Thomas B. Griffith, President Bush's nominee for the federal appeals court in Washington, has been practicing law in Utah without a state law license for the past four years, according to Utah state officials.

Griffith, the general counsel for Brigham Young University since August 2000, had previously failed to renew his law license in Washington for three years while he was a lawyer based in the District.

Griffith, 55, is a member of the Republican National Lawyers Association and was the lead counsel for the Senate during the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton.

Judicial Nominee Practiced Law Without License in Utah

So, this guy was practicing without a license WHILE he was "lead counsel for the Senate during the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton." He accepted a position as General Counsel for Brigham Young University, which presumably requires a license to practice law, when he had no such license?? Did he misrepresent his qualifications??

Is he ethically and professionally qualified to sit on a Federal Appeals Court??

Nothing to see here, move along.

I Feel MUCH Safer Now

A Northwest Airlines flight from Minneapolis mistakenly landed at Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota Saturday after the pilot apparently confused the base for nearby Rapid City Regional Airport.

Passengers aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 1152 from Minneapolis knew something was awry: Nobody from the flight crew got on the intercom to welcome them to Rapid City, Out the window were barracks-like structures and military officials and then the crew told passengers to pull down their window shades.

Since the base controls the airspace for both airports, Ellsworth officials knew the plane was in the area and prepared for a landing.

Military officials questioned the crew. Eventually, the captain and first officer were replaced by a different flight crew and the 117 passengers made the short hop to the right airport, nearly four hours late.

The airstrips are within miles of each other. Ellsworth officials say the last time a commercial aircraft headed for Rapid City landed at the base was in March. They say a mechanical failure was to blame that time.

A Northwest spokesman would say only that the incident is under review, and they're not acknowledging it was pilot error. The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
Northwest Airliner Mistakenly Lands at Air Force Base

So, a commercial airliner got all the way onto the ground at a base that is home to the 28th Bomb Wing, with TWO Squadrons of B-1 bombers??

Well, no-one could have foreseen that they would use airplanes as weapons...

I wonder if Ellsworth ever looks like this, minus the water??

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Journalism?? Is That Allowed??

President Bush traveled to Youngstown, Ohio, a few weeks ago to talk about health care, and before long he was reprising his complaint about "junk and frivolous" malpractice suits, which he said are discouraging good doctors from practicing medicine.

As he often does, the president called for reforms to make it more difficult for patients to seek compensation and to restrict the amount of damages that could be paid to those who prove they have been harmed.

To bolster his argument Mr. Bush introduced a local doctor, Compton Girdharry, to an audience at Youngstown State University. Dr. Girdharry, an obstetrician/gynecologist, said he had been driven from a practice of 21 years by the high cost of malpractice insurance.

The president praised Dr. Girdharry and thanked him for his "compassion."

If Mr. Bush was looking for an example of a doctor who was victimized by frivolous lawsuits, Dr. Girdharry was not a great choice. Since the early 1990's, he has settled lawsuits and agreed to the payment of damages in a number of malpractice cases in which patients suffered horrible injuries.

"It's been four years since my son passed away, and I don't feel any stronger or any happier than the day I lost him," said Lisa Vitale, whose suit against Dr. Girdharry and a hospital was settled out of court.

During an interview in her home in Alliance, Ms. Vitale said she went into Alliance Community Hospital on the morning of Aug. 17, 1993, for the delivery of her second child.

Her first delivery had been by Caesarean section, but Ms. Vitale said she was told that a vaginal delivery this time would not be a problem. While she was in the delivery room, however, the fetal monitoring strip was not properly checked and, she said, she was left alone and in pain for long periods. Dr. Girdharry stopped by around 6 p.m. and then went to dinner.

No one noticed that the baby was in serious distress.

Dr. Girdharry blamed the ensuing tragedy on the nurse. Ms. Vitale, he told me, "was being monitored by a nurse who was what they call a casual part-time nurse, who was not very well trained in reading fetal monitor strips."

By the time he was called back from dinner, he said, it was "too late" to take the steps, including a Caesarean delivery, that might have prevented permanent injury.

The baby was born with severe brain damage. He was unable to even drink from a bottle. He lived six years and four months, requiring nursing care the entire time.

Judy Mays, another patient of Dr. Girdharry, delivered a son by Caesarean section on March 26, 1999. The baby was fine. But, as alleged in a suit filed by Ms. Mays, when the incision was closed, a sponge with a cord and a ring attached to it was left inside.

Ms. Mays said she complained repeatedly to Dr. Girdharry about the pain she experienced, which at times was incapacitating. "When I brought it to the doctor's attention," she said, "he told me, `Well, you just had major surgery. You've got to heal."

After four and a half agonizing months, Ms. Mays felt a bulging growth beneath the skin, "about the size of a grapefruit."

She was petrified, she said, thinking it was a tumor. She said an associate of Dr. Girdharry ordered tests, including a CAT scan. The sponge was spotted, but by that time it had adhered to her internal organs and her intestines were surrounding it.

Dr. Girdharry told me he began operating to remove the sponge but found the damage was worse than he had expected. Another surgeon was called to complete the surgery.

Ms. Mays said she learned after the surgery that part of her large and small intestines had been removed, and that she probably would have died if the sponge had stayed inside her for another month. The surgery, she said, has left her with a variety of permanent ailments.

These are just two of the cases settled by Dr. Girdharry, who told me that his appearance in Youngstown with President Bush was "a dream come true."

Yesterday a White House spokesman said the president had not been aware of the problems in Dr. Girdharry's background. "Had this doctor provided that information," the spokesman said, "he would not have been at that event."
Not So Frivolous

These people are in charge of protecting the borders, and can't screen a Presidential example??

At some point incompetence should be a crime...

This is Not Good

Hospital superbugs with resistance to a "last resort" antibiotic have emerged independently in at least eight different countries, reveals a new study.

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a major problem worldwide. It is highly resistant to most antibiotics, with the exception of vancomycin, which could be relied upon to kill the superbug.

An MRSA bug with increased resistance to vancomycin was discovered in 1997. But until now this resistance was thought to be emerging in only one type of MRSA.

"The results of our study show that the problem is much more serious than was previously thought," says Mark Enright, at the University of Bath, UK, who led the study.

"It's only a matter of time, perhaps just years, before bacteria that cannot be killed by vancomycin develop in some areas," he says. "There have already been three cases of this in the US, but we believe these will become more common."
Superbugs resist "last resort" antibiotics