That’s show biz, big boy

4 06 2013

One of the most powerful people in the US, and thus, the world, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell:

“There’s a culture of intimidation throughout the executive branch of the federal government,” McConnell told reporters in response to a question about nominations and listed a number of agencies. “There’s also a culture of intimidation here in the Senate.”

And of what does this intimidation consist? Prosecution? Confinement? Threats of torture enhanced interrogation?

McConnell accused Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) of planning to break a promise he made in January about not messing with Senate filibuster rules. Reid has been hinting for weeks that he may be ready for a filibuster fight this summer if Republicans don’t ease off their blocking of Obama’s nominees.  . . .

“I asked him again this morning whether he intends to keep his word to the Senate and the American people,” McConnell said. “We don’t intend to be intimidated by him with a constant threat to break the rules in order to change the rules. If that’s what’s going to happen, we want to know it now, not some other time. Now.”

Oh no! He might maybe possibly be thinking of. . . CHANGING THE RULES! Oh, the humanity! However can such a fragile flower be expected to work in such a threatening environment?!

Candy ass.





All hail Leigh Turner!

22 03 2012

Well, goddamn.

Leigh Turner has been fighting the good fight regarding the dubious stem cell “treatments” offered by Celltex, recently sending a letter to the FDA requesting that they investigate the firm.

Celltex has responded by sending a letter to Eric Kaler, president of the University of Minnesota alleging misdeeds by Turner, and ending with the following:

Please inform us at your earliest convenience whether Associate Professor Turner’s February 21st letter, on the University’s letterhead, was authorized by the University. If it was not authorized, please inform us of what steps the University will take to disclaim any sponsorship of the Turner letter, retract the letter, remove the letter from the internet, prevent further distribution of the letter, and prevent recurrence of this type of action by Associate Professor Turner (or any other University professor). We wish to limit legal liability to those responsible for the wrongful acts and appreciate your cooperation in that regard.

Yeah, no.

Now, at this point I must admit that I know Leigh Turner—I worked with him at McGill—and like and greatly respect him. Leigh is a methodical thinker and researcher and, unlike your erratic and absurd host, not at all prone to popping off.

I also have to say that I found out about this SLAPP-suit at Carl Elliott’s blog, that I know, like, and greatly respect Carl, AND that I know, like, and greatly respect a number of the people who have also written to the FDA in support of Leigh.

(I also admit that I disclose these connections not just for reasons of honesty but because I think these people are terrific and am glad I know them.)

Anyway, read through the comments at Carl’s post and you’ll understand what I mean by “all hail Leigh Turner!” Note, for example, his patient and relentless responses to the evasive comments and personal attacks levelled by Laurence B. McCullough’s of the Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy at Baylor College of Medicine. Leigh responds to every single point, respectfully requests additional information, and does. not. let. up.

Did I mention Leigh is methodical?

Okay, he does let one snipe go: McCullough at one point accuses Leigh of  “American provincialism”;  Leigh is Canadian.

In any case, Leigh has set a standard on how to respond to evasion, misdirection, and intimidation: know your stuff and don’t back down.

It’s a good standard for a hothead like me to follow.

h/t for Turner letter to FDA: Carl Elliott; for Celltex letter to the U of M: Ed Silverman at Pharmalot