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May 2014

Eric Shinseki: Postmortem

I posted two articles to Coach Is Right on Ric Shenseki, before he resigned. Both were based on VA insider information. The first presented some small notion of what an imperious little dweeb this guy is, and the other predicted his imminent resignation--a few hours before it occurred.

Let's clear up two more things:

First, he is NOT a good man. As a supposed leader of men and a soldier, he let his guys down, big time. We will never really know how many suffered and died on his watch.

Next, this idea that he was somehow hamstrung by "the system" is pure rubbish. He was the head of the agency, for God's sake. At a minimum, he could have gone into the Phoenix VAMC, fired all who were even suspected as being culpable, and then litigated the inevitable grievances. How can the head of a government agency, with an unlimited budget, be afraid of litigation? Or was it better that at least 30, and probably many more died?

He was nothing more than an over-preened, affirmative actioned bureaucrat seriously out of his depth.

Brood of vipers: Health care edition

Anyone out there still believe that the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) has anything to do with improving health care, or making it affordable?

The original claim was that ACA was all about getting those poor uninsured people insured. As I have stated many times, had they done this, it would have been admirable, and would have had my support. Except, that was never the goal, and besides, they were far too stupid to accomplish that anyway.

Instead, the ACA has become a massive crony capitalism boondoggle whose only beneficiaries are the usual suspect health care parasites—in this case largely health IT: "The Obama administration will spend over $1 billion on the still-incomplete Obamacare website by the end of the year, according to Obama nominee Sylvia Burwell’s testimony to Congress."

The ACA was front-loaded with tens of billions for these health IT gangsters, and if anything, the money flow has increased. Meanwhile, reimbursements are down, quality of care is suffering, and maybe, just maybe the brain-dead baby boomers are beginning to see the light.

Do you think these billions on health IT would have been better spent on patient care?

By the way, for you Catholics out there keeping score, those behind the ACA meet all the criteria for having committed a mortal sin:

For a sin to be mortal, three conditions must together be met: "Mortal sin is sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent."

Grave matter is specified by the Ten Commandments, corresponding to the answer of Jesus to the rich young man: "Do not kill, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and your mother." The gravity of sins is more or less great: murder is graver than theft.

Mortal sin requires full knowledge and complete consent. It presupposes knowledge of the sinful character of the act, of its opposition to God's law. It also implies a consent sufficiently deliberate to be a personal choice. Feigned ignorance and hardness of heart do not diminish, but rather increase, the voluntary character of a sin.

Needless to say, the above remarks on mortal sin also apply to the current VA scandal.

Drinking the Kool-Aid on cholesterol: An oldie but goodie

Check this one out on This is a giant study from 2009, in which heart patients—admitted to hospital—were screened for LDL and HDL. More than half of them had numbers within the guidelines.

But, it's the conclusions reached by the authors that will blow your mind.     Read the complete article.

Glycemic control for fun and litigation

This piece, posted on, is a follow up to Glycemic Control For Fun And Profit.  It presents the sordid history of a class of diabetes drugs called thiazolidinediones (TZDs)—also known as PPAR gamma agonists.

All told, there are three TZDs:  Rezulin, Avandia, and Actos.  Rezulin and Avandia have been taken off the market, and all hopes were pinned on Actos.  But now, there's a $9 billion judgment against Takeda, the manufacturer of Actos.  Seems this wonder drug can cause bladder cancer.  And, Takeda tried covering up the evidence, although apparently the FDA was aware of the connection, as well.

Who knows how long it will take for Actos to be pulled form the market?  One pharmacist assured me that the judgment occurred because the plaintiffs had better lawyers.  Funny, she didn't mention the countless lawsuits from bladder cancer victims against the drug. 

Why, if she were a diabetic she would definitely take Actos, and not worry about the bladder cancer risk.  After all, she said,  the complicaitons of diabetes are so much more real. 

I guess she hadn't read my first article.