Friday, March 28, 2014
Half of the specialists at Obama Surgeon General pick’s own hospital finished residency before him
12:21 AM 03/29/2014
Dr. Vivek Murthy, 36, was nominated by President Obama for the Surgeon General post last November, but Democrats are backing off from his nomination reportedly due to his well-documented anti-gun advocacy. But his relative lack of medical experience might also come up in a confirmation hearing.
Murthy is listed as a Hospitalist and Hospitalist Service specialist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, having completed his residency in internal medicine there in 2006. Of the 42 listed Hospitalist Service specialists at Brigham and Women’s, 21 doctors finished residency before Murthy.
Three fellow specialists finished residency at Brigham and Women’s the same year as Murthy and two of them are also Harvard Medical School instructors like Murthy. Additionally, eleven doctors in the specialty, formed at the hospital in 1998, have completed fellowships, which Murthy has not. The most experienced Hospitalist Service specialist at the hospital finished his residency in 1975, before Murthy was born.
Murthy is a staunch left-wing activist who would bring a record of political advocacy to the role currently held on an acting basis by Boris Lushniak.
As president and co-founder of the activist group Doctors for America, spun off from the 2008 group Doctors for Obama, Murthy was one of the leading activists countering anti-Obamacare medical associations during the push to pass the health care reform law.
Murthy’s group even organized a doctor photo op on the White House lawn at a 2009 event in conjunction with the pro-Obama advocacy group Organizing for America, which was later rebranded Organizing for Action. Murthy also served in an official capacity on the Obama Health Policy Advisory Committee for Obama’s 2008 campaign, and canvassed in Florida during the 2012 election.
Murthy’s anti-gun activism included tweeting last December, “NRA press conference disappointing but predictable – blame everything in the world except guns for the Newtown tragedy.” Murthy felt no need to weigh in on the mental health issues surrounding the case, which evidently fall under the umbrella of “everything in the world.”
At least eight to ten Democrats oppose Murthy’s confirmation in this midterm election year and Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin said “It would be problematic if [the confirmation vote] came up quickly.”
White House press secretary Jay Carney recently said that “after the confirmation vote of Debo Adegbile, we are recalibrating the strategy around Dr. Murthy’s floor vote,” referring to the administration’s DOJ civil rights nominee who failed to be confirmed due to his legal representation of cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal.
The controversy has made Murthy a cause celebre in the mainstream media, with outlets decrying a pressure campaign by the National Rifle Association (NRA) to drum up anti-Murthy sentiment on Capitol Hill. The campaign “Stand with Vivek” rails against “special interests” that are supposedly blocking Murthy’s Senate confirmation.
Murthy’s left-wing activism is not confined merely to gun control or, for that matter, his criticism of capital punishment, praise for blogger Ezra Klein, or assertion that “POTUS is looking sharp tonight” while watching a presidential debate.
Murthy promoted a photograph of “social media guru” Judd Legum, who held a workshop, in Murthy’s words, “teaching doctors to use twitter for advocacy” at Doctors for America’s April 2013 national conference. Legum is the editor-in-chief of the faux journalism outlet ThinkProgress, overseen by the Center for American Progress Action Fund, which was accused by former writers of coordinating closely with the White House in its editorial decision-making. Murthy appears to approve of Legum’s strategy to influence mainstream media coverage.
“Figure out the issues you care about and connect them to issues people are already talking about,” Legum told doctors from Murthy’s group in his “Social Media 101″ seminar at the conference. The tweet quoting Legum was retweeted just once: by Vivek Murthy.
It remains unclear whether Democrats care about Vivek Murthy’s nomination to become Surgeon General of the United States. But if he comes up for a confirmation vote, it will be an issue people will be talking about.
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Posted by Unknown at 8:18 PM
Freedom Rider: America vs. the World
Wed, 02/26/2014 - 11:55 — Margaret Kimberley
by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret KimberleyPresident Obama has placed whole nations on his Kill List. Syria and Venezuela are to join Libya and Iraq as states that have been made to fail, while Ukraine is snatched into the NATO-EU orbit. “The neo-conservative project for a new American century has reached full fruition under a Democratic president, who now has many notches on his gun.”
Freedom Rider: America vs. the World
by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
“A superpower can foment conflict anywhere it wants to at anytime it chooses.”The word imperialism fell into disuse in recent decades. If it seems slightly retro, that is only because there aren’t enough Americans committed to telling the ugly truth about their government.
During the cold war era we were told that communism increased in influence via a domino effect, knocking down nations one by one and forcing them into Moscow’s or Beijing’s orbit. In the 21st century there is a new domino theory which puts every part of the world into America’s cross hairs.
Barack Obama has succeeded in expanding America’s influence in ways that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney could only dream about. The neo-conservative project for a new American century has reached full fruition under a Democratic president, who now has many notches on his gun. He and the rest of the NATO leaders began the trail of destruction with Libya, tearing that country asunder under the guise of saving it.
Using lies and their servants in the corporate media, they constructed a tale of a tyrant and a people yearning for protection. That evil success emboldened them and their gulf monarchy allies further and they decided that Syria would be the next domino.
The system can no longer sustain itself and brute force is the only out.”That plan didn’t work quite as well as Obama and the rest of murder incorporated team thought it would. When the British parliament said no to new military adventures Obama was left sputtering on national television. He was forced to back down from an adamant position he had taken just days earlier.
The semi-comedic setback was only temporary because the monster must be fed at all cost. The system can no longer sustain itself and brute force is the only out. There is nothing old fashioned about imperialism. This malevolent force is still alive and well.
George W. Bush made efforts to overthrow the democratically elected Bolivarian revolution in Venezuela when he plotted with the opposition against the late Hugo Chavez. Obama is clearly more committed to violence than his predecessor and has helped to stir up right wing Venezuelans who want to rid themselves of Nicolas Maduro. Maduro has been weakened by the ginned up protests and is now forced into talks with an opposition that won’t be satisfied until he is dead and gone too.
The Venezuelan people have voted for their revolution numerous times. The U.S., a country that never ceases to call itself a democracy, has thwarted their clearly expressed will time and time again. But that is the essence of empire after all.
While armed force against Syria was temporarily blocked, the West, the Persian gulf monarchies, Israel, and jihadists have not given up their effort to topple the Bashir al-Assad government in Syria. The savage war has made thousands of Syrians homeless and starving refugees, all because the empire needs its next domino.
Not only does United States meddles in its own backyard, it also relentlessly interferes on the other side of the world in far away Ukraine. Popular discontent against that country’s president became a successful effort to bring that country into the western sphere of economic influence but with the awful strings of austerity attached. Ukraine has the choice of going bankrupt or being bailed out and dying a slow death a la Greece.
“Every invasion, occupation and disruption in recent years can be laid at the feet of the United States and its allies.”While the machinations were afoot, president Obama warned Vladimir Putin away with threats of sanctions. The scenes of sometimes violent street protests in Ukraine made a fortuitous tableau for the United States which claimed the infamous “responsibility to protect” which never protects anyone who actually needs help and which has brought so much suffering to people around the world. Every invasion, occupation and disruption in recent years can be laid at the feet of the United States and its allies. Iraq has been destroyed quite literally, Iran has been destroyed economically. Libya was taken out and Syria is on the brink.
The United States quite openly makes it clear that it wants to have its way in the world. If Russia attempts to use its influence then it is vilified and caricatured as a cruel dictatorship controlled by a tyrant. No matter how many elections Chavez and now Maduro won, they are called dictators by American talking heads.
A superpower can foment conflict anywhere it wants to at anytime it chooses. Venezuelans must knuckle under or face the prospect of more turmoil and violence. Ukraine must sign onto economic policies which have already proven disastrous. The United States leaves its fingerprints in these and many other places and that is the essence of imperialism. It is all about control with the rawest brute force available.
The United States hasn’t officially made Venezuela or any other a colony but it doesn’t have to do that. It just has to show that it is boss and the dominos will fall wherever it chooses.
Margaret Kimberley's Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR, and is widely reprinted elsewhere. She maintains a frequently updated blog as well as at http://freedomrider.blogspot.com. Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgendaReport.com.
Posted by Unknown at 11:06 AM