Sunday, July 23, 2017

Sunday Globe is a Piece of Junk

It's no different than any other day:

"In clash over health bill, a growing fear of ‘junk insurance’" by Reed Abelson New York Times   July 15, 2017

NEW YORK — As Senate Republican leaders struggle to secure enough votes to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, the centerpiece of their effort to win conservative support is a provision that would allow insurers to sell bare-bones plans again.

The new version of the bill released Thursday incorporates an idea from Senator Ted Cruz of Texas that would permit insurers to market all types of plans as long as they offer ones that comply with Affordable Care Act standards.

The measure would also allow companies to take into account people’s health status in determining whether to insure them and at what price.

State insurance regulators say the proposal harks back to the days when insurance companies, even household names like Aetna and Blue Cross, sold policies so skimpy they could hardly be called coverage at all.

Derided as “junk insurance,” the plans had very low premiums but often came with five-figure deductibles. Many failed to pay for medical care that is now deemed essential.

On Friday evening, the insurance industry’s two main trade associations — America’s Health Insurance Plans and BlueCross BlueShield Association — sent a letter to the Senate voicing adamant opposition to the plan, which they say would create two distinct markets. 

$ee why they are having such trouble passing this?

The proposal “is simply unworkable in any form and would undermine protections for those with preexisting medical conditions, increase premiums, and lead to widespread terminations of coverage for people currently enrolled in the individual market,” the groups wrote.

The Affordable Care Act drastically changed the health insurance landscape by requiring insurers to offer a set of comprehensive benefits — including hospitalization, doctor visits, prescription drugs, maternity care, and mental health and substance abuse treatment — in order to formally qualify as insurance.

“The new bill opens the door to junk insurance,” said Dave Jones, the California insurance commissioner.

Many Republicans, including President Trump, say giving insurers the leeway to offer less-comprehensive plans will give people greater choice and cheaper options. The Senate bill “ensures consumers have the freedom to choose among more affordable plans that are tailored to their individual health care needs,” Cruz said.

Proponents of the bill argue that it would allow people to buy insurance they could not otherwise afford. Senator Jeff Flake, Reublican of Arizona, said he supported the idea of allowing insurers to sell plans that do not comply with the rules under the Affordable Care Act.

The current proposal, Flake told The Arizona Republic in a recent interview, would allow “183,000 Arizonans who can’t afford insurance because it’s just too expensive to buy a product that meets their needs.”

But both consumer advocates and insurers — forces that are not often allied — are wary. They predict that healthy, younger people would most likely gravitate to the cheaper policies, believing they do not need the more comprehensive and expensive coverage, while older people with health conditions would see their premiums soar for more comprehensive plans.

Isn't that already happening?

Plans with much lower premiums are certain to be attractive to many people. But Elizabeth Imholz, a health policy expert for Consumers Union, warned, “The reality for consumers is that they can be stuck with huge, unexpected out-of-pocket costs.”

What about the reality for patients?

That's the problem with the whole $y$tem. It's based on profit, with greedy pharmaceuticals and insurers leading the pack.

The Republican proposal also encourages the sale to small businesses of cheaper, less-comprehensive plans modeled after association health plans that were in vogue decades ago, allowing associations or groups of like businesses to come together to buy insurance.

Why did they go out of vogue, because it seems like a good idea, collective bargaining.

The Republican bill would allow small businesses and people who are self-employed to buy plans that would be largely exempt from the current Affordable Care Act rules as well as state oversight.

That's where the print prescription ran out.

That, too, has drawn concern. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners, which represents state regulators, wrote a letter to the Senate contending that the provision “appears to block the ability of states to preserve important consumer protections, effectively oversee the plans, or ensure a level playing field.”

Association plans, which had been virtually unregulated because they were not under the purview of any state rules, have had a mixed history. Some plans failed because they did not have the money to pay for their customers’ medical bills, while some insurance companies were accused of misleading people about what they would cover. 

Say it ain't so, doc!

These plans are “just the classic example of insurance that disappears exactly when you need it,” said Jay Angoff , a former state insurance official in Missouriand New Jersey, who also worked in the Obama administration overseeing the insurance marketplace..... 

Yeah, nice inherent bias from the expert, but beyond that I see nothing wrong with paying an insurance company premiums and receiving no coverage. Do you see anything wrong with it? It makes insurance company bottom lines healthy, and that's the most important thing. Didn't you know that?


What do you mean there will be less coverage and more paperwork?

GOP opponents to Senate health care bill see delay as an advantage

‘‘Conservative Republicans are going to discover it is not repeal,’’ Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, said Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” and we already knew it wasn't long before then.

Two more Republican senators oppose health bill

It hinges on young customers, but they’re a tough sell.

"An emphatic rejection that essentially killed the effort, especially Senator Susan Collins of Maine. On Tuesday, Collins joined two other centrist Republican women — Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — to stifle McConnell’s last-ditch attempt. Both Collins and Murkowski said they wanted leaders to start working with Democrats on a bipartisan fix for the problems that ail the current system. For the rebels, the health care debate has turned into a legacy-defining moment....."

The Globe is so partisan and divisive in its spin these days it makes me sick.

The human cost of Trump’s health care tantrum

OMFG, why is it now his plan? 

Why do the Republicans have to fix anything? 

This is Obama's goddamn legacy, the worst president ever, and this is from the paper that loved him. 

Why should the Republicans and Trump have to come up with a plan at all? 

It's not like the attempt to repeal a law has ever failed before, with the law standing, right?!!!

(Expletive deleted) you, Globe.

The GOP doesn’t need a new health care plan. They just need to rebrand Obamacare

That is exactly what they are doing.

Obamacare repeal is dead — long live Obamacare

Except it isn't dead, and is being brought back to life!

"President makes belated push on health care bill" by Eileen Sullivan and Julie Hirschfeld Davis New York Times   July 20, 2017

WASHINGTON — President Trump vigorously defended an all-but-dead Senate health care bill Wednesday, the latest in a series of shifting reactions and what amounted to a belated sales pitch for a measure that Republicans have privately complained he has done little to champion.

Just wondering if YOU are sick of the distortions, dear readers, as well as the narrative spin of the New York Times.

Said he would sign whatever they send him. What more do you want?

It was a stark turnabout from earlier this week, when Trump said Congress should let former President Barack Obama’s signature legislation fail, and blame Democrats.

Hey, they are the ones who wrote and voted for it. Where else should the blame go? On propaganda organs that pushed it like the Times?

Instead, Trump said Republicans should get back to work, ignoring clear indications from Capitol Hill that not enough Republicans are willing to support the proposal.

“Any senator who votes against starting debate is really telling America that you’re fine with ‘Obama-care,’ ” he said.

It was a pep talk that could have been more effective in the last several days as Republican leaders desperately sought support.

I would think those wavering senators would have gone the opposite way had Trump pressured them. Let Mitch do it.

The prospect of repealing the health care law appeared to be doomed Tuesday when an 11th-hour effort to force a vote on the matter failed and three Republican senators said they would not vote to repeal the law without a replacement.

Yeah, I was told it was dead and buried.

Trump has never been completely engaged with the health care repeal-and-replace efforts after his initial foray with House members in April failed.

So says the NYT, which means the opposite is likely true.

He has occasionally cajoled members of Congress, primarily through his Twitter feed, but he has seemed hesitant at best. And his advisers have been divided on how involved he should be, leaving Trump to weigh in sporadically.

On Wednesday, Trump used a combination of humor and thinly veiled threats to pressure wavering senators.....

(Expletive deleted) you, NYT!


So what's the latest?

Doctors group tells Senate to stop health law repeal effort

They got put on hold since there were several other intere$ts ahead of them.

"GOP misread Trump victory as mandate to gut health care" by Annie Linskey Globe Staff  July 23, 2017

BOARDMAN, Ohio — There’s a deep love for Donald Trump here in the Mahoning Valley, once a reliably Democratic swath of northeastern Ohio that turned purple in the last election. But when it comes to Republicans in general, there’s far less affection from the base, particularly in the wake of a stalled agenda in Washington.

“It’s like they’re still not listening, listening to the people,” said Ruth Nabb, a senior citizen from the area and a Trump supporter who spent Friday morning at the Republican headquarters here. “We’re all tired of it.”

Me, too!

She’s floored that the Republican leadership in Congress didn’t have a workable health care plan ready to swiftly replace the Affordable Care Act.

Good point. 

Maybe they didn't really want to replace it. You see that all the time in Washington. It's this game they both play. Blame the other guy for failure to do something you didn't want to do anyway, but had to because of your base.  Such a contrast to the sanctions on Russia and Iran or any bill Israel wants. Those are damn near unanimous, as are the votes for funding the war machine (never mind putting a brake on the damn thing).

She’s livid that Republican senators, including Ohio’s Rob Portman, stood in the way of passing the Senate version of a health care overhaul. But she also doesn’t like the idea of reducing entitlement programs that benefit her family and community, including less funding for Medicare and dramatic spending cuts to Medicaid that are a core feature of the House and Senate Republican plans.

I'm that, too, more than ever.

“They’ve been bitching about this for 7½ years,” Nabb said of the Republicans in Congress. “So they’ve had time to get their ducks in a row.”

The Globe published a sexist swear word?

This is the muddle that Republicans leaders in Congress are contending with as they struggle to show results six months after Trump’s inauguration. After rolling into office with winning slogans targeting “Obamacare’’ — a politically problematic moniker that made it easy to mobilize anti-Obama fury against a complex law — they either missed or ignored lessons of Trump’s jaw-dropping, populist-fueled victory.


Look who is talking!!!!!

Trump himself understood the pitfalls, when he promised during the campaign that, while repealing Obamacare if he won office, he would not touch Medicare and Medicaid and would not roll back ACA protections for people with preexisting conditions. It was a bundle of contradictions rolled into a pitch, but it proved persuasive to his voters.

Yeah, Trump is proving to be much cannier than the pre$$ gives him credit (see comments). 

The president plans to visit the area Tuesday and hold a campaign-style rally in nearby Youngstown, where he’ll likely talk about the so-far stymied health care overhaul.

He’ll have to navigate tricky ground, explaining why, with his sometime encouragement, House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell forged ahead with an ACA replacement that relied heavily on standard GOP doctrine. The bills they introduced cut deeply into health care entitlement programs for the poor and lower-income working class, while granting generous tax reductions to corporations and the wealthy.

Then why are they keeping the Obamacare taxes on the rich

WTF, Globe?

It appears to have been a profound misreading of the Trump base, which directed most of its 2016 election anger at economic elites and Washington’s continued inability to boost middle-class fortunes. Tax burdens on millionaires and Medicaid budgets were not high on their list of concerns.


McConnell’s and Ryan’s offices didn’t reply to e-mails requesting comment.

Neither would I.

Polls confirm that the vast majority of Americans — including big swaths of the white, middle-class coalition that was key to Trump’s victory — have little appetite for the congressional Republican moves on health care. Moreover, Republican governors and moderate Republican senators said deep Medicaid cuts would devastate thousands of working-class citizens and gut rural hospitals.

The polls confirm that, huh? 



Even as the Senate lurches toward yet another planned vote on its unpopular health care bill this week, uncertainties remain on the horizon over the next big item on the Republican agenda: cutting personal income and corporate taxes. The populist base that elected Trump may again erupt if the plan is seen as favoring wealthy interests at the expense of regular Americans.

I'm sorry, I was told days ago it was dead and buried, and I'll be moving on to the tax bill at the end of this post.

Some local Republicans privately say the leaders in Washington have not yet caught up with the Trump phenomenon.

The 2016 election “was so unexpected, people are having trouble understanding what it means,” said one Ohio Republican strategist who requested anonymity to speak freely. “There’s such confusion about what we’re supposed to be.

“What are we supposed to take away from this election? That we’re a new majority Republican Party? We didn’t win the popular vote,” the strategist added. 

What kind of drugs is that scattershot on?

Polls show that the GOP Senate health care plan has low approval numbers even among the GOP faithful. Only 35 percent of Republicans like it; 32 percent of Tea Party supporters approve of it; and 36 percent of Trump supporters like it, according to a recent NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll. It’s most popular among those who call themselves “strong Republicans” — but even then it clocks a 43 percent approval level.


Trump, burdened by scandals and presiding over a White House with almost no governing experience, has not offered a clear message on how to repeal or replace the Affordable Care Act.....



"Insurance markets don’t appear to be on the verge of collapse as President Trump and other Republicans keep saying, according to a Standard & Poor’s analyst. About 10 million people have individual policies under that part of the Affordable Care Act. ‘‘Improving but fragile,’’ is how Deep Banerjee described the exchanges. ‘‘We expect on average for insurers to hit break even’’ in 2017."


Didn't S&P AAA all those bad MBS securities and CDOs?

What it tells you is the Republicans have already agreed on an insurance company bailout fund just as Obama did.

Republicans must challenge Trump on health care

The health care debate we should be having


At this point in the program I would usually start wailing about single-payer health systems and other countries, cite "Sicko" and say pick a plan; however, I'm no longer doing that because I no longer trust this national government to competently or efficiently operate such a system without massive fraud and corruption.

Here is Exhibit A:

"Portrait of a four-star veterans’ hospital: Care gets ‘worse and worse’" by Jonathan Saltzman and Andrea Estes, Globe Staff July 15, 2017

MANCHESTER, N.H. — This is what the US Department of Veterans Affairs says a four-star hospital looks like:

One operating room has been abandoned since last October because exterminators couldn’t get rid of the flies. Doctors had to cancel surgeries in another OR last month after they discovered what appeared to be rust or blood on two sets of surgical instruments that were supposedly sterile.

Thousands of patients, including some with life-threatening conditions, struggle to get any care at all because the program for setting up appointments with outside specialists has broken down. One man still hadn’t gotten an appointment to see an oncologist this spring, more than four weeks after a diagnosis of lung cancer, according to a hospital document obtained by the Globe.

And when patients from the Manchester Veterans Affairs Medical Center are referred to outside specialists, those physicians are sometimes dismayed by their condition and medical history. A Boston neurosurgeon lamented that several Manchester patients sent to him had suffered needless spinal damage, including paralysis, because the hospital had not provided proper care for a treatable spine condition called cervical myelopathy.

“Only in 3rd World countries is it common to see patients end up as disabled from myelopathy as the ones who have been showing up after referral from you,” wrote Dr. Chima Ohaegbulam , of New England Baptist Hospital, to a doctor at the Manchester VA in 2014.

But this hospital, the only one for military veterans in New Hampshire, is just 50 miles from Boston. And it’s supposedly one of the better VA hospitals in the country. Late last year, in fact, the veterans affairs department raised Manchester’s quality rating from three stars to four, putting it in the top third of the entire VA system.

Okay, I'm going to wait right here and make some comments. 

First off, this is regarding the care of veterans, allegedly the most valued members of the society for their sacrifice, and the government won't even care for them. Why do you think they care about you, civilian citizen?

The second thing is, wasn't it two or three years ago when the government threw billions at the system after it was revealed that the wait times were being phoned up and all so that bureaucrats could get their raises and promotions on time? We were told that was going to fix everything, and didn't hear much of the scandal after that.

Lastly, this is all on Obama's watch. I know the Globe investigated and is reporting it now to damage Trump, but this all took place under the neglectful rule of Obama. At least he looked good on camera when he had a teleprompter handy (not so much when it went out).

Ratings can deceive. Inside the unassuming red-brick walls of the Manchester medical center is ground zero for an extraordinary rebellion led by doctors who say they have almost no say in how the hospital is run, lack tools to do their jobs, and witness chronic shortcomings in patient care. They say the four top administrators, only one of them a doctor, seem more concerned with performance ratings than in properly treating the roughly 25,000 veterans who go to Manchester for outpatient care and day surgery each year.

Even the word choices make me sick. Ground zero rebellion. (Expletive deleted) you, Globe.

So far, 11 physicians and medical employees — including the hospital’s retiring chief of medicine, former chief of surgery, and former chief of radiology — have contacted a federal whistle-blower agency and the Globe Spotlight Team to say the Manchester VA is endangering patients. The US Office of the Special Counsel, the whistle-blower agency, has already found a “substantial likelihood” of legal violations, gross mismanagement, abuse of authority, and a danger to public health, according to a January letter to one of the doctors who alleged wrongdoing.

“I have never seen a hospital run this poorly — every day it gets worse and worse,” said Dr. Stewart Levenson, chief of medicine, an 18-year veteran of the hospital who is among the whistle-blowers. “I never thought I would be exposing the system like this. But I went through the system and got nowhere.”

Starting to see why I don't want national single payer here?

The best solution in this $y$tem is to let each state manage their own.

On Thursday night, a spokesman for Veterans Affairs Secretary David J. Shulkin expressed concerns about the problems relayed by the Spotlight Team.

“These are serious allegations, and while we cannot comment on the specifics due to patient privacy issues, rest assured that we will look into them right away,” said the VA press secretary in Washington, D.C., Curt Cashour.

That live or Memorex from past secretaries?

Remarkably, leaders of the Manchester VA have confirmed many of the problems, from the fly-infested operating room — “an episodic issue,” said one administrator — to thousands of patients waiting indefinitely for specialist care, which the leaders blamed on the private company hired by the federal government to set up veterans’ appointments outside the hospital.

Thousands of people still on waiting lists, huh?

Nothing has changed.

In a recent hourlong interview with the Globe, hospital director Danielle Ocker and her chief of staff, Dr. James Schlosser, also acknowledged significant cuts in services, such as the elimination of cataract surgery, as well as administrative glitches that further limited care.

Sick of the excuses yet?

For example: The hospital ordered a $1 million nuclear medicine camera in 2015 to replace a balky one, but never installed it because it was too big for the examination room. Without a reliable camera, the hospital in February stopped offering nuclear stress tests for heart disease risk, and bone scans that can detect tumors. The building is expected to be remodeled for a new camera in 2018.

But Ocker and Schlosser expressed surprise that so many members of the medical staff have reported the hospital’s problems to federal investigators. They said the hospital is addressing shortcomings and that patient safety has not been compromised. Ocker, a nurse, contended that Manchester boasts “a zero infection rate” in the operating rooms — a hospital spokeswoman said the unblemished record dates back to 2011 — and shared a veteran’s recent letter praising Manchester VA care.

Yeah, you are all doing a great job! 

(Blog editor shakes head at delusional doctors and the deception of themselves. Nothing to see here)

Btw, was the letter real or a made-up forgery?

Ocker also said she wanted medical staff to know that she and other leaders take their concerns seriously.

“My feeling is that if there are issues that we need to address, or if there are concerns, that we need to hear about them,” she said.

I didn't know doctors spoke doublespeak.

In many ways, the Manchester VA is under investigation because doctors became convinced that Ocker and other leaders were not listening.

(What more is there to say, really?)

A number of problems date back years before Ocker arrived in 2015, and often reflected lapses in care that occurred when Manchester referred veterans to other VA hospitals or when multiple hospitals failed to coordinate follow-up treatment. But they are coming to the forefront now, in large measure, because one outspoken doctor went public about many patients that he believed had gotten subpar care. Patients like Robert McWhinnie.

McWhinnie, a Korean War veteran who lives in the small New Hampshire town of Gilmanton, relied mainly on a wheelchair to get around when he first visited Dr. William “Ed” Kois, head of Manchester VA’s spinal cord clinic, in July 2016. McWhinnie, who was 84 at the time, had long been a vigorous man who built much of the furniture in his house from maple trees on his land. But then his legs and arms grew weak, he had difficulty talking, and he became incontinent.

Kois immediately got alarmed when reading McWhinnie’s medical records.

They showed that the retired telephone cable splicer had undergone two surgeries at the VA hospital in Jamaica Plain to remove a tumor from his spine in 1995 but that the surgeon could not remove all of it, according to a copy of the records that his family shared with the Globe.

Over the next 21 years, McWhinnie went to the Manchester VA dozens of times for treatment of a variety of ailments. But no one had done imaging to find out if the tumor was growing again, even though regular monitoring was the standard of care after surgery on this type of tumor, according to his lawyer, Mark Abramson.

At least as far back as 2007, McWhinnie was gradually losing the ability to walk, the records indicate, something that could have been caused by a tumor pressing on his spine.

Kois “took one look at Bob, and he said, ‘Oh, my God, this is a disgrace. This man should have been taken care of,’ ” recalled McWhinnie’s wife of 63 years, Janice McWhinnie.

So Kois ordered an MRI and an X-ray and, sure enough, the tumor was choking McWhinnie’s upper, or cervical, spine. It had also grown too big to remove.

“They ignored him basically for 20 years and allowed this thing to grow and grow and grow,” said Abramson, who recently wrote the VA in Manchester and in Boston that his client intends to sue for negligence.

Hospital officials declined to comment, citing potential litigation. 

I hope so!

For Kois, McWhinnie’s condition was sickeningly familiar. In his five years at the VA, Kois has compiled a list of at least 80 Manchester patients who were suffering from advanced and potentially crippling nerve compression in the neck, or myelopathy. Some, like McWhinnie, had undergone surgery at other VA hospitals and then relied on Manchester for subsequent care.

Kois said he complained about the situation to administrators and other doctors. He even organized a September 2015 conference at Manchester, where he told a roomful of doctors and other VA staff that patients were getting substandard spinal care.

What a pain in the neck, huh?

Ocker herself gave introductory remarks at the conference. Yet, in the interview with the Globe, she said she only became aware of Kois’s concerns more than a year later when she heard that they were part of the federal investigation. She said she left Kois’s conference after welcoming guests and was never briefed on the content of his presentation.

“I did not hear that,” she said of Kois’s allegations.

That means you weren't listening!

Kois found a far more receptive audience the following year at the federal Office of the Special Counsel, which made his contentions about poor care a central part of its inquiry. After finding a “substantial likelihood” of wrongdoing, the office recommended a full-fledged investigation by the Veterans Affairs Office of Medical Inspector, which began in January.

An unlikely flashpoint

The VA medical care system, which is used by about 6 million military veterans each year, has been stumbling since 2014. News stories reported that the Phoenix VA Health Care System had engaged in an elaborate scheme to hide the fact that sick veterans were waiting months to see a doctor, and that some had died before they could be seen.

As similar allegations surfaced at other VA hospitals and tens of thousands of veterans around the country were found to be waiting months for care, Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki resigned.

“I can’t explain the lack of integrity among some of the leaders of our health care facilities,” he said, shortly before stepping down.

I can: $elf-$erving, cretinous greed.

But Shinseki’s departure did not stop the drumbeat of scandal. Last year, nearly three dozen whistle-blowers charged that the VA hospital in Cincinnati had made budget cuts that forced out experienced surgeons, reduced access to care, and endangered patients’ safety. The head of the VA’s Ohio-based regional network then retired, and the Cincinnati hospital’s chief of staff was suspended and later indicted on criminal charges.

Now President Trump’s appointee as VA secretary, Shulkin, is vowing to stabilize the health care system. “We are still in critical condition and require intensive care,” Shulkin said at a May press briefing. Last month, Trump signed a bill into law to make it easier for whistle-blowers to come forward and for employees to be fired for misconduct.

Honestly, I wish him the best of luck. I don't think he or anyone can fix this rotted, fetid, hulking, and corrupt carcass. 

This a NATIONAL DISGRACE, and thankfully it will soon be behind the curtain again.

“Up until now, we have too often failed to hold a small number of our employees accountable, for not living up to their duties to serve our veterans, and at the same time protecting whistle-blowers from retaliation,’’ Shulkin said.

A small number? It's nationwide!

At first glance, the Manchester VA hospital seems an unlikely flashpoint for the continuing VA care crisis. The 67-year-old hospital has faced some controversies, to be sure. In 2015, a federal judge awarded a Navy veteran $21 million because the hospital failed to properly diagnose and treat his stroke. A year later, Manchester was one of dozens of VA hospitals that government investigators found had publicly downplayed patient wait times. But the VA has generally looked favorably on Manchester.

Downplaying the wait times again. 

How many vets died waiting?

The VA gave the New Hampshire hospital four stars out of a possible five when the department rated hospitals in 2016. Manchester was ranked above average for both the overall patient experience as well as job satisfaction for employees. The national VA also ranked Manchester near the top for minimizing the amount of time patients had to wait to see both primary care providers and specialists.

Translation: the ratings don't mean squat!

A spokeswoman for the VA in Washington, Gina Screen, said Manchester earned its four-star rating.


“While there are known breaches to Manchester VA Medical Center’s environmental standards as it relates to cluster flies in one of the surgical suites, all appropriate actions have been taken” to fix the problem, she wrote.

Then this is nothing but a Globe hit piece?

Levenson, the chief of medicine, said the VA quality ratings mean little for a hospital like Manchester, which stopped providing inpatient care in 1999 and farms out patients to other VA hospitals and private specialists for an increasing array of treatments. As a result, he said, Manchester’s quality rating is based on more subjective measures, such as patient and employee satisfaction, than on quality of care.

And Levenson said many veterans who use the VA system tend to accept whatever care they get, not objecting even when they’re left in the waiting room for hours. Many are reluctant to challenge authority figures and tend to trust their caregivers, Levenson said. In many of the cases of avoidable spinal injury alleged by Kois, the veterans didn’t even realize their reduced mobility or paralysis could have been prevented.

Looks to me like the military brainwashing is unhealthy, and THERE IS YOUR NATIONAL MODEL!

High-ranking doctors at the Manchester VA are indignant on their behalf. Levenson, who plans to retire at the end of the month, is one of seven doctors who have given up leadership positions or disclosed plans to leave the hospital so far this year. Several cited frustration with management.

Dr. Edward Chibaro stepped down as chief of surgery recently after his plans to create a more robust surgery center were stymied by the hospital’s failure to replace obsolete endoscopic equipment and restore services such as cataract surgery, he said.

“I think the health care is marginal,” said Chibaro, a veteran urologist who came to Manchester two years ago from the Lahey Institute of Urology at Parkland Medical Center in Derry, N.H. “All the physicians would tell you that if they were truthful. The veterans deserve better care.”

You are goddamn right, doc!! We ALL DO!

You won’t get any argument on that from Richard Zuschlag.

A 56-year-old veteran of the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, Zuschlag was one of three patients whose surgeries were canceled on June 8 when two kits of surgical instruments that were supposed to have been sterilized bore what looked like rust or blood stains.

(Blog editor rapidly shaking head)

Zuschlag needed hernia surgery after missing about five months of work as a laborer, and he has been living in a Nashua homeless shelter where Manchester VA officials found a bed for him.

“I want to get back to work,” said Zuschlag, whose operation was pushed back to July. “I’m going nuts.”

A hospital spokeswoman, Kristin Pressly, said the hospital consulted the manufacturer of its steam sterilizers after the episode and replaced the filters in hopes of solving the problem.

But Manchester has struggled to provide sterile surgical equipment for some time. In January 2016, “any one of three” veterans underwent an office procedure in which the instrument kit had been cleaned with bleach but not sterilized by steam, according to a hospital memorandum. “The Medical Center has been unable to identify which of the three Veterans the kit was used on,” said the memo. Hospital officials say the problem has since been resolved by making sure nonsterile surgical kits are kept separate from ones ready for use. 

Why was it a problem to begin with?

Some of the dissenting medical staff members say the hospital compounds such basic failings with questionable personnel moves.

Last month, the hospital administration named a physician’s assistant rather than a doctor to serve as acting head of primary care. Daniel O’Brien also had something worrisome in his background, having been arrested twice on charges of driving while intoxicated, according to published reports. Less than two weeks after the appointment, amid complaints that O’Brien was not qualified, Ocker downgraded him to acting “associate” head of primary care. Hospital officials said they wanted someone with “additional qualifications.”

O’Brien, contacted by the Globe, referred questions to the hospital administration. 


Boxer’s son joins the fight

Friends of Dr. Ed Kois predicted he would rue the day he gave up his three-decade private practice as a pain and spine specialist in Nashua for the VA hospital in Manchester.

Kois is a skilled diagnostician who has, colleagues say, an uncanny knack for figuring out why, say, a patient’s left hand tingles or lower back throbs. And his empathy for his patients is legendary. A colleague recounted how Kois took an elderly patient shopping for a car after her husband had died. “I don’t consider the physician-patient relationship to end at my door,” Kois explained.

But Kois, a board-certified physiatrist — a doctor who specializes in rehabilitation and pain management — has little patience for bureaucracy. He unabashedly describes himself as an anarchist, and he looks the part, with baggy clothes, muttonchops, goatee, and ponytail. He has decorated his hospital office with a framed photograph of the boxing gloves worn by his late father, Adam Kois, whose pugilistic skills took him from the mining camps of western Pennsylvania to Penn State. His son appears to have inherited his pugnaciousness and resolve.

Kois was stunned when he arrived in Manchester in 2012 and noticed that dozens of veterans who had received outpatient treatment there for years had badly damaged spines. “Boy, they must have been in some terrific combat,” he remembers thinking.

Actually, some of them had seen combat, he said, but their condition often had nothing to do with war wounds. It had to do with their medical care.

Certainly, that appeared to be true for Jeffrey S. Sweeney. The 39-year-old Army National Guard veteran injured his spine when an improvised explosive device blew up his gun truck in 2011 in Iraq. He underwent spinal fusion surgery at the Boston VA two years later and should have made a full recovery, according to Kois.

But four months after surgery, despite several visits to Boston and Manchester, Sweeney was suffering disabling back and leg pain. It was so severe that at one point, he requested a wheelchair so he could serve as best man at his brother’s wedding.

Kois recommended a CT scan, which showed that his VA neurosurgeon in Boston had accidentally penetrated a nerve when inserting a 1¾-inch screw into Sweeney’s vertebra. Neither medical staff in Boston or Manchester had picked up on it, according to Sweeney’s medical records, which the Globe reviewed with his permission.

The word incompetence comes to mind.

Kois referred Sweeney to Ohaegbulam, the neurosurgeon at New England Baptist, after Manchester’s leadership at the time agreed to pick up the tab. Ohaegbulam removed the screw and redid the operation, relieving much of Sweeney’s pain.

“I trust Dr. Kois with my life,” Sweeney said. “He is more concerned about the veterans than he is about himself.”

Michael St. Cyr’s dilemma was much like Sweeney’s. In 2014, the 21-year Army veteran was suffering excruciating pain at the site of an old neck surgery. Records show that for more than two years, doctors in Manchester did little that helped — until he saw Kois, who ordered new images in 2016. They showed that surgical screws from the earlier operation had come loose: A private surgeon then inserted an artificial disk, which relieved St. Cyr’s pain.

If St. Cyr had not met Kois, he said, “I’d still be horrible.”

Then there was Galen Warman. An Air National Guard veteran from Concord, N.H., Warman injured his neck when his car was rear-ended in 2007, according to medical records he shared with the Globe. He later developed severe back pain — “I was eating painkillers like Chiclets,” he said — weakness in his arms, tingling in his right hand, and difficulty walking. 

At least that keeps the pharmaceuticals healthy.

Warman, who visited the Manchester VA dozens of times after the car accident, had had no MRI of his neck for eight years when Kois first saw him in 2015, according to the medical reports. Kois ordered one, which showed severe spinal cord compression.

So Kois sent Warman to Ohaegbulam for surgery, as he had done with Sweeney, with similar results. “It was just a new lease on life,” said Warman, 66, who used to struggle with everyday chores but plans to go hiking this summer.

Perhaps most discouraging to Kois, however, was the sheer number of veterans who suffered from advanced cervical myelopathy, a common degenerative spine condition that causes nerve compression in the neck.

Left untreated, myelopathy can lead to weakness in the limbs, numbness in the hands, balance problems, incontinence, even paralysis.

But, with the advent of magnetic resonance imaging a generation ago, myelopathy became relatively easy to diagnose — and treat with surgery — before it progressed too far. Indeed, Kois said, he had rarely seen an advanced myelopathy case in 20 years.

At the Manchester VA, though, Kois saw dozens of them, many being treated not with surgery but with canes, walkers, and wheelchairs to accommodate the patients’ declining mobility. Kois was shocked.

“It’s like if you suddenly saw cases of syphilis — a disease that has long been curable with penicillin,” Kois said.

Dr. James Wepsic, a retired New England Baptist neurosurgeon and mentor of Kois’s who had discussed the situation with him, called the number of advanced myelopathy cases in Manchester “mind-blowing.”

“Probably there are places in Appalachia, from which I come, where you might see a group of people like this, but not in New England,’’ Wepsic told the Globe.

Kois’s concerns extended beyond spine injuries. He also found that some members of the medical staff overprescribed highly addictive opioids to treat veterans’ pain, including conditions ill-suited for such drugs, such as fibromyalgia, he said.

And he alleged that Dr. Muhammad Huq, the former spine clinic director at Manchester, had for years repeatedly copied and pasted patients’ medical histories in computerized records without updating them as conditions changed. Huq had previously been counseled about the practice, which can make it hard, if not impossible, for other medical staff to fully grasp patients’ histories.

Huq, who no longer works in Manchester, declined to comment. However, the VA’s Office of Medical Inspector confirmed that an unnamed provider did copy and paste notes, and the hospital took “appropriate action,” according to a memo from Ocker to the staff.

Driven by such concerns, Kois organized the conference at the Manchester VA in 2015 that dealt partly with cases of advanced myelopathy. The speakers included Ohaegbulam, who discussed several Manchester patients he had treated, as well as Wepsic, who talked about pain treatment. Kois wanted to sound the alarm about veterans who he believed were being left weakened or paralyzed by substandard care.

But his call to arms had, if anything, a negative effect. His ability to care for spinal patients, he says, actually got worse.

When Schlosser arrived in Manchester as the new chief of staff in May 2016, Kois said, he clamped down on the doctor’s ability to send advanced myelopathy patients to neurosurgeons at private hospitals in Boston, at Manchester’s expense, for care Kois felt the VA couldn’t or wouldn’t provide. The hospital had a projected deficit of $6 million in 2016, hospital officials confirmed, and Schlosser emphasized to the staff the importance of seeking less expensive treatment within the VA system before resorting to private doctors.

Soon after issuing that warning, Schlosser blocked Kois from sending a patient to Ohaegbulam. Kois was angry, and blunt about it.

“I’m going to make sure that people know that this is your decision,” Kois recalled saying. “The blood’s on your hands.”

The guy is a saint.

Fly on the ceiling

And then there was the business about the flies.

A couple of years ago, a veteran lay on his back on a gurney in OR 2 at Manchester as a surgical team prepared him for a knee operation. Staring upward, he asked a startling question.

“Excuse me,” he said, according to a medical staffer on the team, “am I supposed to be looking at a fly on the ceiling?”

Members of the team looked up, then shook their heads.

“No, sir, you’re not,” the staffer recounted saying. “And, in fact, that means we have to move you out of this room. We have to move to another OR.”

Not long afterward, the employee who recounted the story — a whistle-blower who asked not to be identified out of fear of possible repercussions — approached a longtime nurse to ask how long flies had been a problem in OR 2.

“Let’s see, I’ve been here 16 years,” the nurse told the staffer, “so . . . . 16 years.”

Pressly, the hospital spokeswoman, told the Globe that Manchester has dealt with the fly infestation since at least 2007. The hospital, she says, spent $1.1 million that year to repair masonry, partly to control pests. In addition, the hospital has hired at least two extermination services and spends about $55,000 a year on pest control.

Nonetheless, the flies have beaten the exterminators. Last October, Ocker said, the hospital stopped using OR 2, one of four operating rooms in the hospital. A giant fly zapper stood like a sentry in the room in a recent photograph obtained by the Globe.

The VA’s medical inspector, in its preliminary findings, said no surgeries have been delayed as a result of the closed OR, Ocker told staff in February. About 400 operations are performed annually at the hospital.

For years, problems like the fly infestation were quietly tolerated in Manchester. But something changed over the last couple of years that made key members of the medical staff less willing to accept chronic problems — and more inclined to report them to federal investigators.

Part of it, say the whistle-blowers, is that previous leaders of the Manchester VA showed more flexibility when bureaucratic problems arose, allowing Kois, for example, to refer patients to private neurosurgeons outside the VA.

In addition, as the Manchester VA cut back on surgery and other services like nuclear medicine, it came to rely more heavily on a new federal program that allows veterans to seek care from private doctors. Veterans Choice, hastily approved by Congress in 2014 to reduce waiting times for veterans’ appointments, came with its own pot of money, so Manchester could take advantage of the program without dipping into its own budget.

But the Choice program has a spotty record nationally and has been particularly problematic in Manchester, in part because the hospital has cut its own services so deeply and referred so many patients.

Choice, which is administered by Health Net Federal Services, failed to make some 3,100 appointments requested by Manchester veterans in the first five months of this year, according to a VA document obtained by the Globe. That was easily the worst record of the eight VA medical centers in New England and included hundreds of patients who have been waiting more than six months, some with life-threatening conditions.

So the fix by Congre$$ was no fix at all, and you begin to wonder where all the money went.

Mark Sughrue, a cardiology nurse practitioner and whistle-blower, has been especially worried about patients with potential heart conditions waiting weeks for nuclear stress tests — which have been referred to providers outside Manchester since nuclear medicine was shut down.

“Eventually there will be a significant adverse outcome,’’ he wrote hospital officials in March in an e-mail obtained by the Globe. “Veterans are getting lost and no one seems to care.” Sughrue declined to comment for this article.

Pressly, Manchester’s spokeswoman, blamed the situation on “significant performance issues” with Health Net Federal Services, one of two private companies contracted to administer the Choice program across the nation.

Privatization is the way of the future.

In an interview, Dr. Baligh R. Yehia, a VA deputy under secretary, acknowledged that Choice “has a lot of issues and challenges.” The VA has sent several “letters of correction” to Health Net for allegedly failing to follow its contract.

“It’s better than at day one,” he said, “but it’s not where we need to be.”

In a prepared statement, Health Net officials said they are still trying to adjust to “higher and unexpected volume” of patients using Choice.

Beyond the change in Manchester’s leadership and the problems with Choice, there’s a third factor behind the hospital uprising: Kois. His willingness to openly challenge VA leadership and risk his career set an example that several colleagues said emboldened others to speak up as well. Now it's an uprising.

Next thing the Globe will do is call it an insurgency.

“He was a breath of fresh air,” said Levenson.

After Schlosser blocked Kois from sending spine patients to private surgeons, Kois contacted a politically connected Manchester lawyer, Andrea Amodeo-Vickery, who agreed to represent the doctors. Seven other doctors and three medical staffers eventually followed suit and said they could no longer tolerate problems, from unsanitary OR conditions to long delays in treatment.

“It’s because of Ed Kois,’’ said Amodeo-Vickery, who has known the doctor for about 25 years. “It took Ed to light the fire.”

Amodeo-Vickery wrote US Senator Jeanne Shaheen and US Representative Annie Kuster last summer, saying her clients “became VA physicians because of their deep commitment to the care of our veterans, and each are totally frustrated with their ability to provide care.”

Several of the doctors met with Shaheen and Kuster and then contacted the whistle-blower agency.

In January the whistle-blowers had their first success, as the Office of Special Counsel found “substantial likelihood” of wrongdoing at the hospital and called for the VA’s medical inspector to conduct a full investigation. That happens in less than 10 percent of allegations reported to the Office of Special Counsel, according to a recent report by the office.

The VA’s medical inspector was supposed to complete its investigation in 30 days, but has received multiple extensions from the special counsel’s office.

Last Thursday, after weeks of back and forth with the Manchester VA over the whistle-blowers’ allegations, Secretary Shulkin’s office joined the discussion. Pressly, the spokeswoman for Manchester, abruptly retracted her office’s answers to some Spotlight Team questions, saying that Shulkin’s office would have a statement instead.

Shulkin’s press secretary then announced that VA headquarters would launch an investigation of its own.

“Secretary Shulkin has been clear about the importance of accountability and rapidly fixing any and all problems brought to our attention, and we will do so immediately with these allegations,” said the spokesman, Curt Cashour.

Heard it all before.

Meanwhile, whistle-blowers say, conditions in the hospital continue to deteriorate.


Dr. Erik Funk, a cardiologist, said the hospital’s cardiology program has been in free fall since officials closed the nuclear medicine program in February. Not only does Funk have to send his patients to other facilities for nuclear cardiac stress tests, he also runs the cardiology program alone. A second full-time cardiologist left several months ago and the hospital hasn’t replaced him, though hospital officials say they are now sharing a second cardiologist with a sister facility.

Like a WTC tower on 9/11 -- which is what kind of kicked off this problem!

“Since I’ve been here, there’s been a gradual deterioration in the quality of care — not the quality of care I deliver, but the quality of care I’d like to deliver,” Funk told the Globe.



Top 2 officials out at Manchester VA hospital

The action came within hours after The Boston Globe published.

Veterans Affairs secretary promises ‘brand new’ review of Manchester hospital

Shulkin is known for taking swift action when he sees problems.

I would like to take a minute to say the mistreated veterans are nothing new. They have been around since Shay's Rebellion. Those soldiers were never paid, and then thrown into prison for failing to pay their debts. Then there were the Hoovervilles on the Washington Mall ten years after WWI. They hadn't been paid, and where then cleared out by the National Guard (think Occupy). Then there are the Agent Orange and other poisons in Vietnam, depleted uranium use in Iraq and Afghanistan, along with other chemical contaminants coming from burn pits and such. 


This veteran doesn't have to worry about his care:

Senator McCain diagnosed with an aggressive brain cancer

"Article called for John McCain to ‘just … die already.’ A GOP official responded: ‘Amen.’" The Washington Post  July 19, 2017

A member of the Republican National Committee in Nevada apologized after retweeting an article that begged for Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, to die.

Diana Orrock, a national committeewoman for the Nevada GOP, shared a story with a headline that used a vulgarity and urged McCain to “Die Already.’’ In retweeting the piece, which was published on Medium, Orrock wrote ‘‘Amen.’’

Several hours after posting the now-deleted tweet, Orrock apologized to McCain and to the Nevada and national GOP, calling the ailing senator ‘‘an American hero’’ — and her own post ‘‘disrespectful.’’

The article was published as McCain was recovering from surgery to remove a blood clot.

Orrock told CNN on Monday, before she tweeted her apology, that she wasn’t calling for the 80-year-old senator’s death — just agreeing with the ‘‘sentiments’’ in the article.

In the article, writer Caitlin Johnstone said McCain ‘‘can die a proud, happy man.’’

‘‘And he should,’’ Johnstone added. ‘‘Like, yesterday.’’

She described McCain as a ‘‘murderous warmongering neocon’’ and an ‘‘evil man’’ who has ‘‘supported every US military bloodbath in his obscenely long lifetime.’’

She wrote:

‘‘If you’re waiting for the part where I say I’m just kidding and would never wish death on anybody, please allow me to make myself clear: I sincerely, genuinely hope that Arizona Senator John McCain’s heart stops beating, and that he is subsequently declared dead by qualified medical professionals very soon.”


Tweets can get you women in trouble:

"Decades-old quip by Ben Affleck causing him some trouble today" by Mark Shanahan Globe Staff  July 19, 2017

A comment Ben Affleck made 20 years ago is causing him a problem.

Following a screening at Outfest last weekend of his 1997 film, “Chasing Amy,” director Kevin Smith talked about the onscreen kiss between Affleck and Jason Lee.

Smith recalled that Affleck said “a man kissing another man is the greatest acting challenge an actor can ever face,” and when the scene was over, he declared: “Now, I’m a serious actor.”

Paper Magazine tweeted the anecdote and, predictably perhaps, it elicited a strong reaction. Actress Evan Rachel Wood, in particular, was appalled at Affleck’s long-ago comment, tweeting: “Try getting raped in a scene. Also, grow up Ben.”

When some of her followers pointed out that Affleck had made the remark two decades ago, so he has grown up, Wood was unmoved, tweeting: “Also, you think us ladies like kissing all the guys we kiss? Just cause its a ‘straight kiss’ doesnt mean we enjoy it. Ahem.”

It’s worth noting that Wood’s character on the HBO show “Westworld” was once raped, and the actress herself told Rolling Stone last year that she’d been raped twice.

In a Facebook post, Smith apologized for any misunderstanding. He said he’s told the Affleck story “a zillion times” and did so again at Outfest because “it was meant to illustrate how adorably clueless we all were in the ’90s.”

“Affleck’s one of the most liberal cats I’ve ever met on the planet,” Smith said. “It just bums me out.”


One could say it is the kiss of death:

"A painful diagnosis for John McCain, a man of integrity" by Yvonne Abraham Globe Columnist  July 20, 2017

So now, on top of everything else, we must contemplate the prospect of losing John McCain.

I'm contemplating the sickening state funeral he will get.

News that the Republican senator from Arizona has an aggressive form of brain cancer has brought an outpouring of supportive messages from across the political world, giving us a rare moment of the bipartisanship he has epitomized through most of his long career, and which seems all but gone, otherwise.

People love this guy. It’s hard not to, even if you live on a different political planet. He’s a bona fide hero — as a US Navy pilot he was held as a prisoner of war in Vietnam for years. And he’s a delight to be around, a fact that was clear every day during his first run for the presidency, a quixotic, free-wheeling affair in which McCain, with little to lose, seemed to live for upending things.....

If his name were Trump he would no longer be a quixotic free-wheeler to her.


Maybe she will eulogize Trump in the same way after the Deep State takes him out.

"Just Stop It: John McCain is Not a “Great Man” or a “War Hero”

July 20, 2017
by Scott Creighton

News broke yesterday that Sen. John McCain is being treated for brain cancer. As a human being I feel for those close to McCain who are troubled by his illness. But I have no sympathy for John himself.

CNN, Rachel MadCOW, MSNBC, Fox “News”… they are all beside themselves today somberly singing the praises of the senator from Arizona, saying he’s a “great man” and a “war hero.”

Nothing could be further from the truth.

I am a war criminal,” he (John McCain) confessed on “60 Minutes” in 1997. “I bombed innocent women and children.” Common Dreams, here.

John McCain is constantly referred to as a “fighter pilot war hero” because on Oct. 26th of 1967, he was flying a bombing run in his A-4 Skyhawk targeting civilian infrastructure (power plant) and got shot down. The A-4 is not a fighter jet. It’s designed purpose is that of a light bomber. Made for quick bombing runs on lightly guarded targets, the A-4 was used to drop things like napalm, white phosphorus and cluster bombs on civilian targets. He got shot down and landed in a lake where the same civilians who he was just bombing, saved his life. They decided against beating him to death and turned him over to police who gave him to the military.

It is said that John McCain remained a POW for 5 years and never broke, never betrayed his country. In fact, I have heard some go so far as to say his melanoma comes from that time as a POW.

Truth is, John broke quickly and denounced his country and even gave the Vietnamese important intel about flight patterns of his fellow fliers.
“I’ve never been tortured. I have no idea what I’d do. Of course, I’d like to think that I could resist or at least commit suicide before giving up information. Odds are, however, that I’d crack. Most people do. And so did McCain. “I am a black criminal and I have performed the deeds of an air pirate,” McCain wrote in his confession. “I almost died and the Vietnamese people saved my life, thanks to the doctors.” Ted Rall

“McCain had a unique POW experience. Initially, he was taken to the infamous Hanoi Hilton prison camp, where he was interrogated.  By McCain’s own account, after three or four days, he cracked.  He promised his Vietnamese captors, “I’ll give you military information if you will take me to the hospital.” 
His Vietnamese capturers soon realized their POW, John Sidney McCain III, came from a well-bred line of American military elites. McCain’s father, John Jr., and grandfather, John Sr., were both full Admirals. A destroyer, the USS John S. McCain, is named after both of them.” DOUGLAS VALENTINE from CounterPunch
“Hero” McCain’s betrayal went well beyond giving into torture while he was injured (which ANYONE would do by the way). Apparently he became something like a Tokyo Rose:
“Not content with divulging military information, McCain provided his voice in radio broadcasts used by the North Vietnamese to demoralize American soldiers. 
Vietnamese radio propagandists made good use out of McCain.  On June 4, 1969, a U.S. wire service headlined a story entitled “PW Songbird Is Pilot Son of Admiral.” (7) 
The story reported that McCain collaborated in psywar offensives aimed at American servicemen. “The broadcast was beamed to American servicemen in South Vietnam as a part of a propaganda series attempting to counter charges by U.S. Defense Secretary Melvin Laird that American prisoners are being mistreated in North Vietnam.”
On one occasion, General Vo Nguyen Giap, the top Vietnamese commander and a nationalist celebrity of the time, personally interviewed McCain.  His compliance during this command performance was a moment of affirmation for the Vietnamese.  His Vietnamese handlers thereafter used him regularly as prop at meetings with foreign delegations. 
In the custody of enemy psywar specialists, McCain became what he is today: a professional psywar stooge. DOUGLAS VALENTINE from CounterPunch
They kept him for 5 years because his father was in charge of Naval operations during the Vietnam war and because he was weak and a sycophant to power. In 2000, when he was running against “W” and the Cheney neocon Zionists who had plans for a “New Pearl Harbor type event”, Bush and his team smeared McCain’s family in an effort to gain the upper hand in the primary. In the end, John got on his knees again and backed “W” and Dick for the presidency much like Spineless Bernie Sanders did with Killary in 2016 after she stole the nomination from him.

This is a pattern that is repeated in his life over and over again.

While John was singing like a song-bird in Vietnam, hoping his father wouldn’t hear the recordings being played by the enemy to demoralize U.S. soldiers, his wife was dutifully waiting back home, raising his three children in his absence.

When he got back he discovered she was in a car accident, she lost 5 inches of her height, gained a couple pounds and didn’t look much like the swimwear model that he married, so the “great man” John McCain started cheating on her with his sugar moma and he later dumped her like one discards a broken ashtray. and Rachel Maddow was singing his praises last night?
“And he also showed incredible callousness to his first wife. She had stood by him throughout the time he was in Vietnam, but then she was in a terrible car accident that cost her five inches of her height and also led her to put on weight. And, while still together with her, he began pursuing Cindy, the heiress whose family would finance his political campaigns. 
McCain’s team later tried to say that he was already separated from Carol when he began chasing Cindy. That’s not what everyone told me, and the L.A. Times account cites court documents indicating that that isn’t true.” New York Times
His first wife is better human being than he deserves:
‘My marriage ended because John McCain didn’t want to be 40, he wanted to be 25. You know that happens…it just does.’ 
Some of McCain’s acquaintances are less forgiving, however. They portray the politician as a self-centred womaniser who effectively abandoned his crippled wife to ‘play the field’. They accuse him of finally settling on Cindy, a former rodeo beauty queen, for financial reasons.” Huffington Post
In short, he was a scumbag who married a woman for her looks and when they were gone, he went out and got himself a new one.

He’s a piece of shit in other words… but Rachel Maddow just loves and respects him to death. Go figure.

John’s new wife Cindy started backing his political ambitions right off the bat. She had plans for him. He was the son of an admiral, a “war hero” and former POW… so how could he lose?

Of course, few people remember what “war hero and former POW” John “Straight Talk Express” McCain did to other POWS in the early 90s.
“John McCain, who has risen to political prominence on his image as a Vietnam POW war hero, has, inexplicably, worked very hard to hide from the public stunning information about American prisoners in Vietnam who, unlike him, didn’t return home. Throughout his Senate career, McCain has quietly sponsored and pushed into federal law a set of prohibitions that keep the most revealing information about these men buried as classified documents. Thus the war hero who people would logically imagine as a determined crusader for the interests of POWs and their families became instead the strange champion of hiding the evidence and closing the books.” American Conservative, 2010
McCain torpedoed several bills designed to bring to light information about POWs still living in Korea Vietnam. From 90 to 95 he axed to pieces of legislation that many former POWs backed.

Some say it was because he didn’t want records on his own captivity to be unearthed. Others believe it had more to do with business deals he cut with Vietnam, fearing renewed anger toward the Vietnamese government could cause problems and even sanctions.

And then there is this:
The Vietnamese love McCain because, as they said, he was the strongest advocate in normalizing trade with them in the late ’80s and early ’90s. McCain just had to silence that little MIA/POW problem to do it. Well, as it turns out, his wife’s fortune at the time stood to gain from that deal since her company went into Vietnam and set up breweries there. They made millions off that and she apparently did the same off “put options” just prior to 9/11. This is why Cindy refused to release her tax information previously. Oh, BTW, her company also has contracts supplying the troops with bottled water and other supplies… in Iraq. No wonder he wants them to stay. Did I mention John’s son works for the same company? So his entire family fortune is heavily tied to the Iraq war.” Scott Creighton, 2008
Whatever the reason, many believe U.S. soldiers were still alive and still in captivity in those countries back then… and John McCain squashed all efforts to bring them home.

McCain represents the worst of what complicit congress-critters have become in this country. He is a pure neoliberal, far-right fascist. He hates the poor, the sick, the disabled… but loves Big Business and the Military Industrial Complex.

Kinda reminds you of what he did to his first wife, right? A little glimpse into his character perhaps?

John McCain has never met a terrorist he didn’t like and try to do business with. Might explain his affinity for Dick Cheney, Hillary Clinton and Lindsey Graham.

[RELATED: Lindsey Graham Goes All In for Dream Act Cheap Labor and Cannon Fodder: “if you aren’t for it, I don’t want your vote” -- Turns out Graham is a racist.]

Here’s John hanging out with a neo-Nazi in Ukraine as we were regime changing that country.

Ten pictures that show Ukraine's protests are filled with toxic Neo-Nazi groups

Here’s that neo-Nazi giving a salute at one of his rallies. He’s actually a neo-Nazi. Not one just in spirit like John McCain is.. but a real one in fact.

Here’s a more convenient one.

Back when the war-criminals we installed in Ukraine were caught using cluster-bombs on civilian targets John said it was ok and maybe even our fault because if Obama had sent them other bombs, they could have used those on women and children instead. He really did say that.

In Syria, John the “hero” took a meeting with some rather unpopular people at the time. His deal was to go there and motivate them to keep fighting for our regime change operation in the country. Here’s a little peek at who he met with:


John McCain not only funds terrorists and serves as an apologist for neo-Nazi war-crimes and crimes against humanity.. he also does the same thing for us:

The bombing of the hospital that he was talking about was not an accident. It took place over a prolonged period of time and the doctors repeatedly tried to call the U.S. military to tell them they were being bombed and we did nothing to stop it. It wasn’t “fog of war”… it was specifically a war-crime designed to make the people in the area pay for supporting our opposition.

Back in 2015 John got pissed off because the Russians were bombing the CIA’s terrorist contractors. That was al Qaeda and al Nusra they were hitting and it made the “war hero” mad.
“Their initial strikes were against the individuals and the groups that have been funded and trained by our CIA, in a credible flaunting of any kind of cooperation or effort to conceal what (Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s priority is — and that is, of course, to prop up (Syrian President) Bashar Assad. [I] can absolutely confirm to you that they were strikes against our Free Syrian Army, or groups that have been armed and trained by the CIA, because we have communications with people there.” John McCain
Some of those same terrorists we trained killed 3 Green Berets in Jordan back in December. Shot em dead in cold blood at a checkpoint.

News has just broken yesterday (along with that of John’s cancer) that President Trump has decided to stop funding the CIA’s terrorists in Syria. I guess John wont be around to go provide aid and comfort to his al Qaeda and ISIS employees.

Sen. McCain also seems to have a very low opinion of U.S. workers when it comes to Bush’s (and then Obama’s) Comprehensive Immigration Reform (a.k.a. “Cheap Labor for Big Business” bill):

Seems John doesn’t remember what this country did and can produce or what U.S. workers did for the billionaires he sucks up to every Goddamned day of his miserable life:

That’s what we USED to be. And John McCain, “hero”… “great man”… thinks we can’t pick lettuce or put a roof on a house? He’s an idiot or a liar or so out of touch with real Americans he just doesn’t know how insulting he is. How insulting his entire life is.

I don’t think there is anything particularly heroic or great about Sen. John McCain.

He is the worst of us.

Again, my sympathies to those close to McCain who care for him. They don’t deserve grief anymore than any of the families of the victims of the terrorists he hired or the POWs he left behind.

But John himself? I hope he takes this as a message from God that he’s done enough damage to this world and should retire before time runs out.


I can't emphasize enough the tremendous and outstanding report put out by American Everyman regarding McCain, or the amount of gratitude due him after such an expose.

Also see:

The same tumor, 10 years later: Will McCain face better prospects than Kennedy?

Yeah, because new treatments are on the horizon.

Despite battling brain tumor, McCain vows: ‘I’ll be back soon’

Thanks for the warning.


Veteran pushes pot for PTSD treatment

Oh no you don't!

"As states keep saying yes to marijuana, Jeff Sessions says no" by Avantika Chilkoti New York Times   July 15, 2017

NEW YORK — In a national vote widely viewed as a victory for conservatives, last year’s elections also yielded a win for liberals in eight states that legalized marijuana for medical or recreational use.

But the growing industry is facing a federal crackdown under Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has compared cannabis to heroin.

It helps with that, too, but you can't say such things!

A task force Sessions appointed to, in part, review links between violent crimes and marijuana is scheduled to release its findings by the end of the month. But he has already asked Senate leaders to roll back rules that block the Justice Department from bypassing state laws to enforce a federal ban on medical marijuana.

That has pitted the attorney general against members of Congress across the political spectrum — from Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, to Senator Cory Booker, Democrat of New Jersey, — who are determined to defend states’ rights and provide some certainty for the multibillion-dollar pot industry.

“Our attorney general is giving everyone whiplash by trying to take us back to the 1960s,” said Representative Jared Huffman, Democrat of California, whose district includes the so-called Emerald Triangle that produces much of the United States’ marijuana.

“Prosecutorial discretion is everything given the current conflict between the federal law and the law of many states,” he said in an interview last month.

All law is arbitrary, and that is scandalous.

In February, Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, said the Trump administration would look into enforcing federal law against recreational marijuana businesses. Some states are considering tougher stands: In Massachusetts, for example, the Legislature is trying to rewrite a law to legalize recreational marijuana that voters passed in November.

Is that why Spicer is gone?

About one-fifth of Americans now live in states where marijuana is legal for adult use, according to the Brookings Institution, and an estimated 200 million live in places where medicinal marijuana is legal.

Cannabis retailing has moved from street corners to state-of-the-art dispensaries and stores, with California entrepreneurs producing rose gold vaporizers and businesses in Colorado selling infused drinks.

Sessions is backed by a minority of Americans who view cannabis as a “gateway” drug that drives social problems, such as the recent rise in opioid addiction.

“We love Jeff Sessions’s position on marijuana because he is thinking about it clearly,” said Scott Chipman, Southern California chairman for Citizens Against Legalizing Marijuana.

He dismissed the idea of recreational drug use. “’Recreational’ is a bike ride, a swim, going to the beach,” he said. “Using a drug to put your brain in an altered state is not recreation. That is self-destructive behavior and escapism.”

I didn't know he was also a prohibitionist of alcohol and tobacco, did you?

Marijuana merchants are protected by a provision in the federal budget that prohibits the Justice Department from spending money to block state laws that allow medicinal cannabis. Under the Obama administration, the Justice Department did not interfere with state laws that legalize marijuana and instead focused on prosecuting drug cartels and the transport of pot across state lines.

In March, a group of senators that included Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts, and Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska, asked Sessions to stick with existing policies. Some lawmakers also want to allow banks to work with the marijuana industry and to allow tax deductions for business expenses.

Lawmakers who support legalizing marijuana contend that it leads to greater regulation, curbs the black market and stops money laundering. They point to studies showing that the war on drugs, which began under President Richard M. Nixon, had disastrous impacts on national incarceration rates and racial divides.

In a statement, Booker said the Trump administration’s crackdown against marijuana “will not make our communities safer or reduce the use of illegal drugs.”

“Instead, they will worsen an already broken system,” he said, noting that marijuana-related arrests are disproportionately high for black Americans.

Consumers spent $5.9 billion on legal cannabis in the United States last year, according to the Arcview Group, which studies and invests in the industry. That figure is expected to reach $19 billion by 2021.

A Quinnipiac University poll in February concluded that 59 percent of US voters believe cannabis should be legal. Additionally, the poll found, 71 percent say the federal government should not prosecute marijuana use in states that have legalized it.

But marijuana businesses are bracing for a possible clampdown.

“People that were sort of on the fence — a family office, a high-net-worth individual thinking of privately financing a licensed opportunity — it has swayed them to go the other way and think: not just yet,” said Randy Maslow, a founder of iAnthus Capital Holdings.


RelatedSnortable chocolate

And it will kill you, no matter how much money you have.

"Boston startup dives into marijuana industry with high-tech sensor to weed out impurities" by Dan Adams Globe Staff  July 16, 2017

The Boston startup 908 Devices has unveiled a new sensor intended to give it a foothold in a less conventional but fast-growing industry: commercial marijuana.

The company hopes to sell hundreds of the machines to marijuana labs, cultivators, and processors. Executives at 908 Devices, which has raised nearly $50 million in funding since its founding in 2014, believe the US market for marijuana testing equipment could soon reach a half-billion dollars.

“We see cannabis as a growing part of the life-sciences market,” chief executive Kevin Knopp said. “If this is a legal product being brought to market, we need to be able to tell whether the potency and levels of solvents are within the requirements.”

Others don't see it that way, but the Globe is acting like it's a fait accompli so it must be.

In states where the drug is legal, regulators typically require commercially grown marijuana to be tested in professional labs for potency and contaminants such as pesticides and mold before it can be sold. 908 Devices is marketing its sensor to such labs, noting that its speed means technicians can test more samples each day.

“It cuts 80 percent off of the usual analysis time,” said Chris Hudalla, founder of ProVerde Laboratories, a lab in Milford that analyzes marijuana for dispensaries and which has been evaluating the G908. “That’s hugely advantageous because it can increase our throughput.”

However, he added, the machine isn’t quite sensitive enough to meet some state standards.

The company is also betting the device will appeal to pot farmers. It could help them detect problems in the plants and cultivate marijuana with precise blends of psychoactive compounds without waiting days for results from an off-site lab.

“If you have cultivation staff waiting around to go to the next step, you don’t want to say, ‘Come back in three days when the testing will be done,’ ” Hudalla said. “This lets you get an answer in a few minutes and move on.”

Working from a small sample of marijuana flower, the G908 can measure a plant’s potency and chemical profile. It can also test pot concentrates to ensure there are no residual traces of potentially harmful solvents some processors use to extract the plant’s primary psychoactive compound, THC.

The typical testing equipment currently used is about the size of a large basement freezer, costs up to $600,000, and can take 30 minutes or longer to return a result. The toaster-oven-sized G908, on the other hand, weighs just 28 pounds, costs under $100,000, and can spit out an analysis in as little as five minutes, the company said.

The breakthrough at its heart is a series of miniaturized “molecular traps,” which, unlike older technology that requires power-hungry air pumps to create a vacuum, can detect marijuana chemicals in a tube kept just below normal outdoor air pressure.

Hudalla noted that the G908 arrives amid soaring commercial and scientific interest in how different marijuana strains affect the mind and body.

Researchers have known for decades that pot’s distinctive high is caused primarily by THC, and that related ‘‘cannabinoid’’ chemicals in the plant may have medicinal benefits. But more recent studies suggest another class of marijuana compounds called terpenes — long assumed to be simply aromatics that imparted “flavors” but had little psychoactive effect — may actually play a key role in how users experience the drug, and account for the differing subjective effects of various strains.

Hudalla believes terpene-detecting devices like the G908 will become standard fixtures in cannabis-growing facilities. In part, that’s because a number of states may soon require terpene tests on commercially grown marijuana. But more important, Hudalla predicted, increasingly sophisticated pot consumers will come to prefer strains with particular terpene profiles, just as craft beer fanatics obsess over hops.

“Different physiological effects, like making you happy or sleepy or giving you dry mouth, are often terpene-related, not -cannabinoid-related,” Hudalla said. “You’ll have product lines for connoisseurs who want specific terpenes.”


"Forget the science. These investors think they can pick biotech winners by algorithm" by Damian Garde, July 12, 2017

Investing in biotech startups is a laborious business.

Venture capitalists spend months poring over data before deciding whether to back a fledgling company. They’ll scour the scientific literature for signs that the core ideas are valid. They’ll call in the founding team for interminable grillings. They may even hire outside researchers to try to replicate key experiments.


You know what happens when they are stoned!

Then there’s Correlation Ventures. Based in San Diego, the firm has a simple — and audacious — approach: The partners assign a numerical value to every element of a company, from its CEO’s résumé to the track records of its backers.

Those data get punched into an algorithm, and the computer spits out an answer: Invest. Or don’t. The whole process takes less than two weeks, guaranteed.

“It’s kind of like counting cards in blackjack,” Correlation co-founder David Coats said. “You may lose any individual hand, but if you play enough hands, you should win. The odds are truly in your favor.”

For some reason I just got hungry.

Other venture capitalists love Correlation’s database, but aren’t so sure about picking winners by algorithm. Data are “a helpful tool,” said Tim Shannon, general partner at Canaan Partners, “but can you purely model success or failure? Obviously not.”

Soon all of life will be reduced to algorithms, and we will truly live in the Matrix.

Here’s how it works: Correlation, which has been in business since 2012, has assembled a sprawling database of more than 80,000 venture capital deals, encompassing roughly 98 percent of all U.S. investments dating back to 1997, Coats said. Every facet of each deal is given a numerical score and fed into the database. Zoom all the way out, and tendrils of data form patterns that connect the winners and freeze out the losers, Coats said.

And that leads to Correlation’s proprietary algorithm, which the firm’s partners believe allows them to predict the future of new companies based on the fates of ones past.

Only about 10 percent of potential investments pass the test. In recent years, the algorithm has led them to make investments — generally between $1 million and $4 million —  in a wide range of biotech and tech companies, including a drug developer out to treat cancer, a health IT company hoping to make doctor referrals more efficient, and even an online mattress retailer.

“Everything is entirely empirical,” said Coats, who has been investing in biotech for about 20 years.

But relying on data, no matter how big, in lieu of old-fashioned instinct and intuition remains a divisive idea in the financial world. “If you’re a sports fan, this is reminiscent of the analytics folks in baseball versus the old school,” said Gary Pisano, a Harvard Business School professor who authored a book on the biotech industry.


The promise of a dispassionate investing machine, free of human hubris and its resulting biases, has an undeniable allure. But such a machine could only be as clever as its flesh-and-blood creator, said Christian Catalini, an assistant professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who studies the intersection of tech and finance.

Whose hubris?

“One of the big challenges of any machine-learning approach to this is you need to make sure you’re not overfitting the data,” Catalini said, warning that a poorly designed model can be fooled into seeing a signal amid a torrent of useless noise.

As for the predictive value of deals cut two decades ago? “What may have been true in the past is not necessarily true for the future,” Catalini said.

Right, and one could argue that the opposite is the rule now.

At Correlation, though, the partners implicitly trust the computer. They say having 20 years worth of data means their algorithm accounts for both booms and busts. Their internal rules let them vote “no” when an algorithm suggests they invest — but under no circumstances can they fund a company that doesn’t impress the computer model.

Despite their loyalty to the algorithm, the partners don’t aspire to render human VCs obsolete. In fact, the firm needs them in order to survive.

Correlation is strictly a co-investor, meaning it only participates in funding rounds in which a blue-chip VC has already put money down. And, as you may have guessed, the track record of that investment firm is a particularly weighty data point for the algorithm.

So, how’s it working out?

That’s hard to say, because Correlation doesn’t disclose its returns.

I spent time reading three-quarters of an article promoting this thing, and now it's weeeeellll.... ????

Coats said the firm, which has about a dozen employees, is outperforming its benchmarks, which are tied to the stock market. And the firm’s investors seem to be pleased: Putting together the firm’s $167 million first fund in 2012 was a slow process, Coats said, but Correlation speedily closed a second, $200 million fundraise in January.

Correlation’s biotech track record includes some sizable successes, at least when seen through the lens of return on investment, rather than scientific breakthroughs.

It invested in Flex Pharma, which pulled off a stellar $86 million initial public offering in 2015 (though the company’s lead drug, to prevent muscle cramps, failed in its first major clinical test). Mirna Therapeutics made a hefty $44 million Wall Street debut the same year (though it later had to halt a Phase 1 trial of its oncology drug because of multiple severe side effects).

But the algorithm isn’t always right. Aldea Pharmaceuticals, which Correlation backed in 2013, later went out of business when its drug to reverse alcohol intoxication didn’t pan out. The same fate befell Enlibrium, another Correlation portfolio company, when its efforts to treat cancer came to naught.

A few flameouts are inevitable when it comes to investing in high-risk, early-stage biotech companies, Coats said, adding that individual failures haven’t shaken his faith in Correlation’s approach to card-counting.


The firm’s technology traces its roots to financial crime. Anu Pathria, Correlation’s head of analytics, is the co-inventor of FICO’s credit card fraud-detection system, and Correlation relies on a similar principle: Just as a computer can learn your habits and discern when you’ve gone on an uncharacteristic spending spree, the firm expects to recognize the patterns that separate promising startups from an ocean of also-rans.

Another arm of the total surveillance state!

The firm openly shares analyses generated by its model with other investors. Partners at Atlas Venture, Alta Partners, and Canaan Partners said Correlation’s trove of data is a valuable resource.

But none is worried about getting displaced by Coats and his army of numbers.

“Not everyone’s going to turn around and become Correlation Ventures,” said Jay Lichter, managing director of Avalon Ventures, which has co-invested with Coats’ team. “At some point, someone’s got to stick their neck out.”

Then there’s the other work VCs do, like sitting on a company’s board, making hiring decisions, and steering strategy.

“I don’t think you’d ever get that with an algorithm,” said Dan Estes, a partner at Frazier Life Sciences.

Actually, stocks ARE going that way!

WTF is with the mixed messages, Globe?



"New GOP battle begins as Republicans look to pass a budget" by Alan Rappeport New York Times   July 18, 2017

WASHINGTON — Reeling from the collapse of their plan to repeal the health care law, Republicans tried to move on quickly to tax legislation Tuesday, taking the first step with a budget proposal that calls for reducing tax rates for businesses and individuals.

The plan calls for consolidating tax brackets and cutting rates, repealing the alternative minimum tax, and switching the United States from a worldwide tax system to a territorial tax system. Under a territorial tax system, the federal government would tax only the domestic income of a corporation and would exempt most or all foreign income. A worldwide system taxes all income of a corporation, regardless of where it is earned.

That way corporations like Google, Apple, and the rest won't look bad when they park cash offshore to avoid them.

Also Tuesday, the House Budget Committee revealed a blueprint of its 2018 budget resolution, setting up a potentially heated debate over the Republican Party’s fiscal priorities for the coming year.

The resolution is of particular importance this year because Republicans must pass it to unlock a procedural tool that would allow them to overhaul the tax code without the support of any Democrats.

The budget calls for a $621.5 billion national defense budget for 2018 and $511 billon for nondefense spending. It also calls for at least $203 billion in cuts over a decade in “mandatory” spending on programs such as Medicare and Social Security.

The war budget is more than that, and you can see whose backs they are balancing it on.

House Republicans were optimistic that the plan could become reality.

Despite the differences with Trump’s fiscal vision, Mick Mulvaney, White House budget director, praised the outline, but significant challenges await the House budget effort, and the infighting over health care has shown that Republicans are unlikely to reach an agreement easily on difficult pieces of legislation.

On Monday, Representative Mark Meadows of North Carolina, who leads the conservative House Freedom Caucus, said he did not think the proposed budget could win full House approval. He said he first wanted it to include deeper spending cuts and more details on the principles of tax reform.

The House proposal calls for more military spending than the budget from the White House. That proposed increase would break the caps imposed by the 2011 Budget Control Act. Changing that would require Democrats’ votes.

The House Budget Committee is scheduled to hold a markup on the resolution Wednesday and any bill will have to be reconciled with the budget that the Senate eventually passes.

The Senate also turned its attention to overhauling the tax code Tuesday, when the Senate Finance Committee held its first tax hearing and questioned a bipartisan panel of former Treasury officials. It also held a separate nomination hearing for David J. Kautter, the nominee for assistant Treasury secretary for tax policy.

The challenges that Republicans face in getting tax reform done were also on display in the Senate.

Democrats assailed Republicans for trying to go around them and urged them to learn the lessons of the health care legislation experience, and work together.....

Where you been?!!!!! It's been nothing but obstruction for months.



"Globe CEO Doug Franklin steps down" by Mark Arsenault Globe Staff  July 18, 2017

Boston Globe chief executive officer Doug Franklin stepped down Tuesday morning, less than seven months into the job, citing strategic differences with publisher John W. Henry, the owner of New England’s largest news organization.

Franklin’s tenure saw continued press problems at the newspaper’s new Taunton printing facility, which has been a vexing and expensive headache for a media organization fighting to become financially self-sufficient in an era of declining print advertising. The printing problems pre-date Franklin.

That is no way to run a ball club!

Franklin was not actively looking for work when a friend tipped him to the Globe job. “Retirement is pretty boring,” Franklin said when his hiring was announced. In an introductory note to Globe employees when he was hired, Franklin said, “While there are no silver bullets in our business, I’m bullish about our pathway forward. Mobile and social platforms allow us to reach more readers than ever before with your expert storytelling. Our mission is unique: informing, improving and inspiring Boston.”


That explains the pos that appears on the news rack every day!

In the note announcing his resignation, Franklin thanked the paper’s staff and said he took the job because “I love the newspaper industry, cherish our First Amendment obligations, and value the role of the Globe in the Boston region.

Henry, in a separate note to staff, said he intends to become “a more active publisher.”

That explains Red Sox being all over today's front page!


Time to head for home:

"As thousands gathered at Fenway Park Saturday morning for the eighth annual Run to Home Base, one thing made this year different: tearful standing ovations for Vietnam veterans in attendance, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. “I think it’s very important that, even if you oppose a war, you shouldn’t translate that into opposing the warriors,” said Harvey Weiner, a Newton resident and Vietnam veteran.

No offense, buddy, but I've had it with the jingoism meant to spin opposition to the war into tacit support. 

As for the warriors, see the VA piece above. Who is supporting the troops?

After Captain Brian Bergson, a 12-year veteran of the Army and a graduate of the Home Base program’s two-week intensive clinical program, returned from a 2011 deployment to Afghanistan, Bergson said torturous memories from the war played over in his mind, keeping him from sleeping and leaving him feeling isolated. At first, he turned to alcohol to help him fall asleep, he said. But then he turned to it to try to stay alive.

Other speakers included Mayor Martin J. Walsh, Boston Red Sox president Sam Kennedy, and US Representative Joe Kennedy III. The event is sponsored by New Balance, NESN, BAE Systems — a defense, security, and aerospace company — and more than a dozen more organizations, including the Boston Globe....."

Doesn't that last paragraph just make you sick?

Globe says “many benefited in the post-9/11 generation,” and that they are our superheroes, deserving of the cheers.


Striking nurses get support from mayor, lawmakers

They put in a good word for you, and you ruined it.

Time to return to work.


87 experimental therapies for glioblastoma are in the works. Some might help McCain now

Ahead of key vote, details of GOP health bill still unknown

So you think you can do without health insurance?

Key part of opioid legislation is not working

It was a matter of privacy.

UPDATE: House rejects plan to fix VA’s budget gap after veterans’ objections