Day: March 6, 2009

Howard Dean for Surgeon General?

Now that CNN correspondent and neurosurgeon Dr. Sanjay Gupta has withdrawn as a candidate to be the next Surgeon General of the United States, the rumor mills have spread the idea that Dr. Howard Dean, former Governor of Vermont, candidate for the Democratic nomination for President in 2004, Democratic National Committee Chair from 2005-2008, and a medical doctor, is a front runner for the position.

Everyone can admit that Dean played a major role in the revival of the Democratic party after the loss in 2004.  Everyone can concede that he added color and excitement to the 2004 Democratic Presidential race by his candidacy.  Everyone can acknowledge that he is a man of strong convictions and beliefs.

Having said that, it must be said that Dean harmed his own self image by his shrieking public display of enthusiasm after primary results came in from Iowa, and that his outspokenness alienated many Americans who came to see him as radical and overly controversial.  He made many enemies within the Democratic party.

It was surprising that Dean was not offered a position with Obama before this, but it might be because of his stormy public image and tendency to shoot from the hip. It must be said that while he is certainly qualified to be Surgeon General on paper, that it is predictable that his proposed nomination will cause a storm of opposition from the Republican minority in the Senate and may also alienate moderate Democrats.  The question is whether Obama is prepared to back a controversial nominee in the midst of so many other issues that are all on his plate at the same time.  Dean comes across as almost "too political" to be Surgeon General, so I would hope that this proposed nomination not be followed through on, and that the President finds a less controversial choice to be the next Surgeon General.

Applause for Obama for Stem Cell Research

It is now reported that President Obama will sign an executive order on Monday in a White House ceremony, overturning the federal ban on funding of embryonic stem cell research.  This will overturn the ban established by President Bush in 2001.

This change in government policy will allow further research into the causes and cure of such diseases as Parkinsons, Alzheimers, and Diabetes, as well as allow for the possibility of pathbreaking developments in the field of paralysis.  What the actor Michael J. Fox, President Ronald Reagan, and actor Chris Reeve represented, along with millions of other victims of these horrible diseases and conditions, will now finally have the possibility of seeing major progress in future years.

Health care policy should not become enmeshed in religious debate.  Individuals have the right to adhere to their religious beliefs, but religion should NOT become a determinant of medical research, particularly with the likelihood of major reforms in finding cures and solutions for so many medical ills.

Rush Limbaugh More Outrageous Than Ever!

Rush Limbaugh has become more egotistical and obnoxious than ever before.  Already making clear his hope that President Obama’s programs fail, and having become in many people’s minds the image of the Republican party despite his low personal public opinion rating, he now has gone one step further in yet another outrage.

Rush declared today that the President’s health care initiative, were it to be passed, would be named the Ted Kennedy Memorial Health Care Act, therefore predicting the death of the "Lion of the Senate".  This horrible statement matches the insanity of Senator Jim Bunning of Kentucky, who a couple of weeks ago predicted the death within nine months of Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who like Kennedy is a cancer patient.

How low and gross  and lacking in class can public figures descend!  Both should be ashamed of themselves, but imagine this.  Senator Bunning issued an inadequate apology, misspelling Ginsberg’s last name twice in a  printed statement.  That puts him way above Rush Limbaugh, who one could not expect would have the character to withdraw his statement and apologize.  How this man can have anyone listen to him and endorse his views is beyond understanding, but it is clear that there are millions of Americans who have no dignity and class, just as those who represent them, such as Rush, Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, and Michael Savage.  This is, unfortunately, the price one must pay for a free society, that those who have no respectability can still obtain an audience from those who enjoy gross behavior and character assassination!

A Reprisal on Governor Jerry Brown in California?

An eye-opening development in California is the lead in the polls of former Governor Jerry Brown, presently Attorney General and also former Mayor of Oakland, over the Mayor of Los Angeles, the Mayor of San Francisco, and the Lieutenant Governor for the Governorship in 2010.

Jerry Brown was governor at the young age of 35, when he was first elected in 1974.  He was re-elected in 1978, and was an active Presidential candidate in 1976, 1980 and 1992.  He gained a reputation as a populist but also as a flaky guy who preferred to sleep on the floor of his apartment than live in the Governor’s mansion in Sacramento. 

For him to come back at age 71 as Governor, with the Democrats greatly favored over any Republican, would be startling beyond belief.  Imagine, 36 years, after being first elected, and 28 years after leaving the Governorship, to come back to office would be the story of the political year 2010. 

Considering that California has elected two actors as governor (Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger),  it is obvious that ANYTHING is possible, but still the return of Jerry Brown to the governorship would be an astounding event!