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Divernan's Journal
Divernan's Journal
November 30, 2014

"A 2016 Ballot Without Hillary Clinton or Jeb Bush"

Charlie Cook, one of the most respected political experts in the country, believes Hillary Clinton has only a 25-30 percent chance of running for president, and in any case he thinks she is either “rusty” or “she has lost her fastball.” He bases that on her disastrous book tour, in which she said some very inappropriate things and also did not sell many books.

The author of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report newsletter for almost 30 years also disappointed a local audience when he did not give Jeb Bush much of a chance of gaining the Republican nomination.

Bush has two issues working against him to win the Republican primary for the 2016 presidential election,” Cook said. “One is immigration reform, which he favors; and two, is his advocacy of education reform.”

Neither of those causes would sit well with Republican primary voters, Cook said.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/steve-rose/article4189947.html#storylink=cpy

I came across this article on the front page of Huffington Post. The entire article is chock full of commentary on demographics, young voters, voter turnout & causes of Obama's disapproval ratings. The author is Charlie Cook: Charlie Cook is Editor and Publisher of The Cook Political Report, and political analyst for National Journal, where he writes two weekly columns . He also writes a regular column for Washington Quarterly, published by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and is a political analyst for NBC News. In 2010, Charlie was a co-recipient of the American Political Science Association's prestigious Carey McWilliams award to honor "a major journalistic contribution to our understanding of politics." http://www.nationaljournal.com/reporters/bio/2

The National Journal is owned and published by David Bradley:
Politically, Bradley considers himself a centrist,[1] although he has also described himself as "a neocon guy" who was "dead certain about the rightness" of invading Iraq.[8] In the 2008 U.S. presidential primaries he donated $4,300 to Hillary Clinton and $2,300 to Barack Obama and to Mitt Romney.[8] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Journal
November 29, 2014

Nation of Change website sells out to Big Oil/Keystone - I'm very disappointed.

I am shocked and disillusioned that Nation of Change pushes an article based on research by the climate change denier/Big Oil shilling Manhattan Institute, an organization dedicated to denying climate change. It's article, published on line this morning, cleverly uses a legitimate attack on the dangers of transporting oil by rail, to push it's true agenda, which is pro Keystone pipeline. It particularly pisses me off that the article fails to name it's own research source, a conservative think tank, and insteads lurks behind legitimate Pro Publica data on the dangers of rail shipment, without of course mentioning that Pro Publica is also anti-Keystone pipeline.

See for yourself and click on the link provided in the 4th paragraph of the pro-fracking Nation of Change article at this sentence."Researchers estimates that trains are three and a half times as likely as pipelines to suffer safety lapses." http://www.nationofchange.org/2014/11/28/govt-data-sharpens-focus-crude-oil-train-routes/ This will take you to the Manhattan Institute generated "research". Then look at this description of the Manhattan Institute from the reputable Media Matters.

Media Matters describes the

Manhattan Institute as a free-market think tank that advocates a "pro-growth" agenda on fossil fuels and downplays the scientific consensus on climate change. The Institute's website states that it is "unclear" whether human activity is contributing to rising global temperatures, adding: "Despite the certitude with which the media and politicians treat the issue, the science remains muddled." Media Matters gives us the down and dirty on the Manhattan Institute.


The Manhattan Institute has received funding from ExxonMobil and the Koch Family Foundations over the last decade. It previously questioned the science on the health effects of tobacco after receiving funding from the tobacco industry. Robert Bryce, a Senior Fellow at the think tank, regularly authors op-ed pieces for prominent mainstream and conservative publications and appears on Fox News promoting fossil fuel production and downplaying the potential of renewable energy.

On climate change, Bryce has said: "I don't know who's right. And I don't really care." In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Bryce claimed that the "science is not settled, not by a long shot." He went on to suggest that a report of neutrinos that travel faster than the speed of light is sufficient reason to question climate science.

Yes, rail transport of oil products is dangerous, and the well-respected Pro Publica does us all a favor by providing the train routes and other data on such transportation. But what an insulting act to hide behind Pro Publica's good name. Pro Publica does not support fracking, irregardless of HOW its product is transported through the U.S. to be processed and shipped overseas to the profits of Big Oil. Google "fracking Pro Publica" and see the many, many articles warning of the dangers of fracking! Then google "Pro Publica" and "Keystone Pipeline". I particularly refer you to http://www.propublica.org/article/explainer-what-is-the-keystone-xl-pipeline-and-why-is-it-so-controversial, to see how anti-Keystone-Pipeline Pro Publica has LONG been!

Media Matters' article, Meet the Climate Denia Machine lists the Manhattan Institute along with the usual suspects:
Despite the overwhelming consensus among climate experts that human activity is contributing to rising global temperatures, 66 percent of Americans incorrectly believe there is "a lot of disagreement among scientists about whether or not global warming is happening." The conservative media has fueled this confusion by distorting scientific research, hyping faux-scandals, and giving voice to groups funded by industries that have a financial interest in blocking action on climate change. Meanwhile, mainstream media outlets have shied away from the "controversy" over climate change and have failed to press U.S. policymakers on how they will address this global threat. When climate change is discussed, mainstream outlets sometimes strive for a false balance that elevates marginal voices and enables them to sow doubt about the science even in the face of mounting evidence.

Here, Media Matters looks at how conservative media outlets give industry-funded "experts" a platform, creating a polarized misunderstanding of climate science.

Heartland Institute And James Taylor
Competitive Enterprise Institute
Chris Horner And The American Tradition Institute
Manhattan Institute And Robert Bryce
Heritage Foundation
Cato Institute And Patrick Michaels
American Enterprise Institute
November 28, 2014

One local pediatrician has been pushing Human Growth Hormone for decades

Extremely expensive treatments which go on for many years, starting when the kids are pre-school. Parents cautioned, "little Andrew is short for his age - better give him HGR - will be an advantage if he gets into sports . . . . girls like taller boys . . . " Fast forward to his teenage years and Little Andrew and his brother (who also "needed" HGR) are both 6 feet 4 inches tall, with legs like giraffes. Amazingly (!?!) his parents are 5'4" and 5'10" respectively. What's wrong with this picture? And it's not just this family. When I go swimming at the local Y, there are many teenage girls and boys (high school students/lifeguards/swim teams) who are at least 6 ft. tall, and with the same "giraffe leg" syndrome.


What are the dangers associated with human growth hormone?

There are few studies on the long-term -- or even short-term -- side effects of taking human growth hormone for non-medical reasons. But there's reason to suspect trouble. People who naturally produce too much of the hormone or have received medical treatment for growth failure often develop abnormal hearts, bones, and nerves, and are particularly likely to suffer from osteoporosis, heart failure, and other diseases. Sports medicine researchers at the University of Massachusetts, among other experts, suspect that long-term use of supplemental HGH could have similar consequences.


WEDNESDAY, Aug. 13, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Children who are prescribed human growth hormone may be at greater risk of a stroke in early adulthood than their peers are, a new study suggests. "People view technology in medicine as a way to fix things, but the bad news is that when we try to fix things sometimes there is a price," said Ichord, who wrote an editorial accompanying the study.
(The research was published online Aug. 13 in the journal Neurology.)

Artificial growth hormone is used to treat children and teens when their pituitary gland fails to produce enough natural growth hormone. It is also given to speed up growth and increase height when a child is short, either because of genetic abnormalities, chronic kidney disease, or below-normal signs of growth at birth. Increasingly, growth hormone is being used because parents believe their child might benefit from being taller, according to Coste.

While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved growth hormone in 1985, Coste noted there is still little known about the potential impact of the hormone on long-term health.

Researchers still have no idea what the effect of taking growth hormone in childhood might have over longer periods of time. "It's an additional elephant in the room, what happens to these individuals when they experience aging," said Ichord. "Who knows what the same population might be like in their 40s, 50s or 60s?"

Ichord said physicians treating children need to evaluate potential lifelong implications of treatment. "We in pediatrics need to be humble about things we do to children when they are young and be prepared to look at the long-term outcomes of treatments we prescribe," she noted.
November 28, 2014

Extremely valuable info at the links provided in this article.

First of all there's Pro Publica's Dollars for Docs. Find out how much kickback YOUR docs are receiving from Big Pharma.


ProPublica launched its Dollars for Docs database to track the drug company money doctors were taking, I typed in their names. The acting medical director received $12,550 in 2010 and 2011 for speaking gigs. The researcher received more than $212,489 between 2009 and 2012 for speaking gigs and consultations. The schizophrenia specialist made more than $323,300. And the database only includes disclosures from 17 of the more than 70 drug companies in the world. According to Dollars for Docs, hundreds of thousands of doctors have raked in a total of more than $4 billion since 2009, with the top earner, psychiatrist Dr. Jon Draud, netting at least $1.2 million.

Next there is the federally mandated (by the Affordable Care Act) and maintained website for Open Payments. http://www.cms.gov/openpayments/

Sometimes, doctors and hospitals have financial relationships with health care manufacturing companies. These relationships can include money for research activities, gifts, speaking fees, meals, or travel. The Social Security Act requires CMS to collect information from applicable manufacturers and group purchasing organizations (GPOs) in order to report information about their financial relationships with physicians and hospitals. Open Payments is the federally run program that collects the information about these financial relationships and makes it available to you. To gain a deeper understanding of data published on September 30, 2014, view our factsheet.
November 15, 2014

Clintons DO have to rely on the kindness of 1 percenters for private jet travel.

I mean it's not like Bill & Hill have his and hers private jets at their beck and call. When you look at the 5 star luxury of their travels - presidential suites, 4 or 5 personal assistants EACH, and luxury private jets - it appears that neither is physically fit enough to withstand the rigors of first class commercial travel.

Hillary Rodham Clinton likes to travel in style.

She insists on staying in the “presidential suite” of luxury hotels that she chooses anywhere in the world, including Las Vegas.

She usually requires those who pay her six-figure fees for speeches to also provide a private jet for transportation — only a $39 million, 16-passenger Gulfstream G450 or larger will do.

And she doesn’t travel alone, relying on an entourage of a couple of “travel aides,” and a couple of advance staffers who check out her speech site in the days leading up to her appearance, much like a White House trip, according to her contract and supporting documents concerning her Oct. 13 speech at a University of Nevada, Las Vegas Foundation fundraiser. The documents were obtained by the Las Vegas Review-Journal through the state public records law.

CENTER OF ATTENTION: Clinton, a former first lady, U.S. senator from New York and U.S. secretary of state, is expected to run for president in 2016. Her lifestyles of the rich and famous ways and comments that she made about her wealth during a recent book tour have fueled criticism that she’s out of touch with average Americans.
November 14, 2014

HRC: "We are not truly well off, like other wealthy people we know."

This report is from last June:


Hillary Clinton’s latest attempt to explain away her comment that she and Bill Clinton were “dead broke” when they left the White House has prompted her to possibly stumble into another verbal thicket, saying that they are not “truly well off.”

In an interview with the Guardian published Sunday, Hillary Clinton made a third attempt to tamp down the “dead broke” comment, made earlier this month to ABC’s Diane Sawyer. While defending the millions of dollars she and the ex-president have earned giving paid speeches and writing books, she insisted they are not “truly well off” like other wealthy people they know, fueling criticism that the potential presidential candidate does not relate to ordinary people.

Says it all doesn't it? Their joint wealth is now estimated at over $100 million, but in her mind they are not truly well off.

As to the comment that "Bill Clinton has worked tirelessly in the capacity of president and past president for the betterment of peoples lives. And he does so at the cost of his own health." I agree that his continued high level of activity is not beneficial to his health or to slowing his progressive heart disease. Plain and simple, the man cannot stop himself from pursuing wealth, status, public attention and political power, at every opportunity, even though he has jokingly referred to the risks his level of activity poses to his longevity.

But it also included making sure Hillary gets the benefit of the national spotlight that’s sure to burn hot on her if the inevitable happens to Bill Clinton before the 2016 primary season.

“Obviously, you have to have a big state funeral for me, with as much pomp and circumstance as possible,” Bill Clinton says in the excerpt. “I’m thinking maybe I should be buried at Arlington [National Cemetery] rather than at my library in Little Rock. After all, I was commander in chief for eight years and have every right to be buried at Arlington …”

“When I’m gone, people will think only of my good points and forgive, if not forget, the bad. I’ll be remembered in a positive light more in death than I was in life. That always happens. Everybody knows that. So you’ll have to take maximum advantage of my death …”

“It should be worth a couple of million votes.”

Some have referred to his mindset as "Bill Clinton's Madness".

One of the savviest politicians of our generation, known for his wit, charm, and calm under extreme pressure, Bill Clinton appears out of character in the speeches and interviews televised since his bypass surgery September 6, 2004 and his mental deterioration may be accelerating. Remember, this is the president who withstood public impeachment before the entire world for his relationship with Monica Lewinski without once losing control. Now, he is easily angered by hecklers, and makes factual mistakes and racial slurs while aggressively defending his wife’s campaign for presidency. Everyone sees his mental and emotional decline, yet to date, no medical professionals have spoken out about the cause or offered help.

Not a single one — not one bypass surgeon, cardiologist or psychiatrist — has stepped forward in his defense; even though all of them are trained to recognize “post bypass surgery cognitive dysfunction.” One of the best-kept secrets in medicine is the brain damage caused during bypass surgery. During my 40 years of medical practice I have never heard a doctor warn a patient before bypass surgery that an expected complication is memory loss. After surgery when the family complains of dad’s fits of anger, I have never heard a doctor admit that personality change is a common consequence of surgery. Yet these well-recognized side effects have been reported in medical journals since 1969.1

Brain damage during bypass surgery is so common that hospital personnel refer to it as “pump head.” The primary cause is emboli produced during surgery from clamping the aorta and from the “heart-lung machine.” This machine pumps blood to keep the patient alive while the heart is stopped during the operation. Unfortunately, this pump also introduces toxic gases, fat globules, and bits of plastic debris into the bloodstream of the patient under anesthesia. Once they are in the bloodstream, these particles migrate to the brain where they can clog capillaries and prevent adequate amounts of blood and oxygen from flowing to the brain. Essentially, all patients experience brain emboli during surgery and for many the damage is permanent.

In 2001, an article in the New England Journal of Medicine reported that 5-years after bypass surgery 42% of patients showed decline in mental function of approximately 20 percent or more.2 A study published this year (2008) in the Annals of Thoracic Surgery using MRI testing just after bypass surgery found brain damage in 51% of patients.3 Three years after their time on the bypass pump, significant permanent reduction in mental capacity was identified in 31% of patients. I am not talking major stroke here; but these patients can’t remember names or numbers as they once did, experience sleep disturbances (including nightmares), suffer mood swings, and lose intellectual acuity. Approximately 30 percent of people suffer persistent depression and some even contemplate suicide

1) Hill JD, Aguilar MJ, Baranco A, de Lanerolle P, Gerbode F. Neuropathological manifestations of cardiac surgery. Ann Thorac Surg. 1969 May;7(5):409-19.

2) Newman MF, Kirchner JL, Phillips-Bute B, Gaver V, Grocott H, Jones RH, Mark DB, Reves JG, Blumenthal JA; Longitudinal assessment of neurocognitive function after coronary-artery bypass surgery. N Engl J Med. 2001 Feb 8;344(6):395-402.9 Link » (pdf)

3) Knipp SC, Matatko N, Wilhelm H, Schlamann M, Thielmann M, Lösch C, Diener HC, Jakob H. Cognitive outcomes three years after coronary artery bypass surgery: relation to diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging. Ann Thorac Surg. 2008 Mar;85(3):872-9.
November 14, 2014

The damage control will be in overdrive at WVU re "a very eventful night."

I worked in a Dean of Students office at one of the top private universities for a couple of years, and the coverups focused on protecting the university's reputation - student victims/witnesses were coerced, manipulated, threatened - often encouraged to "take a semester off". Any parents who think an undergraduate institution sees itself as acting "in loco parentis" is delusional.

More from the article:

Burch, a native of Buffalo, N.Y., was pledging to become a brother of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity. MPD and University Police are working on identifying and interviewing pledge and fraternity members who were with Burch during the night.

Burch tweeted, “It’s about to be a very eventful night to say the least” hours before the incident.
November 12, 2014

Wolf to impose 'No, thank you' Rule on Appointees

Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Wolf plans to sign an executive order to prohibit gifts even though state law allows officials to accept gifts worth up to $250 without reporting them, or gifts worth more than that amount if disclosed. The law sets a $650 threshold for travel, hospitality and lodging.

Critics during Republican Gov. Tom Corbett's campaign pointed to his acceptance of legally allowed gifts, totaling more than $28,000 during his tenure, from tickets to sporting events and Broadway shows to a free yacht vacation.

In his Campaign for a Fresh Start, Pennsylvania governor-elect, Democrat Tom Wolf spelled out his rule on gifts — for himself, his Governor's Office staff, and his appointees to state agencies and boards: “The rule will be easy to apply and easy to report — no free lunches, no free tickets to ball games, and no free trips to conferences or vacation resorts. If you come and work for Tom Wolf in Harrisburg, there will be no ‘gifts' as part of your job.”

Barry Kauffman, lobbyist for Common Cause of Pennsylvania, said the rule is “strong incentive to do the right thing. It means you'll be beholden to no one.”

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/7133693-74/wolf-gifts-rule#ixzz3IoA2UhcA
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/7133693-74/wolf-gifts-executive#axzz3IkgdSNWT

Good for Governor-elect Wolf - off to a fine start. Sadly, it will be a cold day in hell before the state legislators of either party agree to apply such a rule to themselves. I worked for the Democratic Caucus of the PA House for 10 years. On session days, legislators from both parties routinely attended hot breakfast buffets in the Capitol rotunda, sponsored by lobbyists/special interest groups. They were also taken out to restaurants by lobbyists most evenings they were in the state capitol. And OH! all the college/professional sports outings where they were wined and dined in private, luxury boxes. Then there were the golf outings. Most outrageously, the overwhelming majority of these state legislators collected their undocumented per diems for food, even though they rarely paid for even a can of soda.
November 6, 2014

So glad there is no USSC appointment in the immediate offing!

Because Obama would roll right over on that one and immediately agree to the youngest, most conservative, white, male nominee Mitch could come up with. All those harping at Ginsburg to retire during Obama's last 2 years? That is definitely off the table. Stay healthy, Justice Ginsberg!

There are currently 64 vacancies in the Federal judiciary, with 32 Obama nominees hanging in limbo. Mitch can hold up those 32 nominees and pressure Obama to fill the other 32 slots with little Scalias, Thomases, etc. Probably set up a 10 to 1 ratio, i.e., Obama gets one of his appointees for every 10 of Mitch's he supports.


Sadly Obama couldn't negotiate his way out of a wet paper bag.

So here's the deal. When the next Senate session opens, Obama puts four issues on the table for what he laughingly calls "negotiations."
1. Trade deals
2. Keystone
3. Chained CPI
4. Rebuilding infrastructure.

The GOP snaps up the first three. Obama claims victory - hey! he got 3 out of 4!

November 5, 2014

Mitch McConnell's horrific agenda as Senate leader:

Here's a link to last August's Courier-Journal report on McConnell's comments at a Koch Brother fianced soiree. As per yesterday's results, the majority of voting Kentuckians never need unemployment benefits, never struggle working for a minimum wage, and have no interest in refinancing student loan debt. What a bubble they live in!

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told a conference of rich, politically active conservatives in June that he wouldn't allow votes on the minimum wage and extending unemployment if he becomes majority leader, according to a leaked audio recording.

In the recording, which appeared on the website of The Nation, he also said that passage of the McCain-Feingold Act to limit political contributions was "the worst day of my political life."

The event was organized by billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, who donate heavily to conservative and tea party causes. The Nation reported that political action committees and people with ties to Koch Industries have contributed at least $41,800 to McConnell during this campaign cycle.

The recording includes passages in which McConnell says he would block votes on issues like raising the minimum wage, extending unemployment benefits and refinancing student loan debt. "We're not going to be debating all of these gosh darn proposals," he said during the discussion. "These people believe in all the wrong things."

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