Effect Measure

More on Surgeon General nominee

My wiki partner and fellow blogger Melanie Mattson (Just a Bump in the Beltway) alerted me to a whole new pile of crap about Bush’s new Surgeon General nominee, James Holsinger, cardiologist and master of biblical studies (Melanie took me to task for saying that’s a degree in “theology.” I stand chastised. Errr . . . maybe that’s not the right word. Errr . . . maybe it is.) We covered some of it in yesterday’s post (wingnut homophobia and bigotry and generous campaign contributions to Bush and the Republican Party). But we missed some other stuff (you thought what we did write was enough? Silly, you!).

As we noted, Holsinger was Chief Medical Director at the Department of Veterans Affairs serving the elder Bush. Under his watch, the VA was found to be incompetent and negligent in several cases. Here is Holsinger’s admission his agency was to blame in the Chicago deaths:

“Mistakes were made,” said the Veterans Affairs Secretary, Edward J. Derwinski. “The medical care was clearly not what it should be.”

The agency’s announcement came a week after department investigators questioned poor supervision and delays between diagnosis and surgery, among other things.

After an extensive review of 15 deaths between June 1989 and March 1990, the agency acknowledged blame in six, said Dr. James Holsinger Jr., the agency’s chief medical officer. (New York Times via BuzzFlash)

“Mistakes were made.” Where have I heard that before? Chicago wasn’t the only trouble spot under Holsinger (Wyoming: “Thirty VA hospitals were found to have ‘high numbers of patient complications and other indicators of substandard care.'” – BuzzFlash) but after not running the VA competently (there’s a long tradition of that there) he was tapped by crazy Ernie Fletcher in Kentucky to rundown their health department, something he promptly did:

A decade later, Dr. Holsinger was appointed Kentucky’s Cabinet Secretary for Health and Family Services. By the end of his tenure, a Kentucky newspaper found that the state was at the bottom of the nation for almost every health measure. Kentuckians die at a rate of 18 percent above the national average, the newspaper reported.

“We don’t have to worry about foreign aggressors. We are killing ourselves off,” said Dr. Baretta Casey, a Hazard physician and University of Kentucky professor. “I see a lot of illnesses similar to a third-world country,” added Dr. Sandra Dionisio, a Kentucky internist trained in the Philippines.(BuzzFlash)

Shortly after, Holsinger bugged out for a teaching job at the University of Kentucky. Meanwhile he continues to appeal an adverse court ruling in relation to an accusation that $20 million belonging to the Methodist Church was scarfed up by a charity Holsinger chairs.

Sufficient credentials for job of Surgeon General of the United States,”America’s Doctor,” wouldn’t you say? Thank you, President Bush.


  1. #1 Coin
    May 30, 2007

    Here’s the bit that kind of fascinates me. Is James Holsinger still on the UMC’s Judicial Council?

    And regardless of the answer to that question, is there any historical precedent to this? That is, someone simultaneously (or in close succession) leading such a high Executive post as the Surgeon General and also such a high post in the President’s personal religious denomination (here Methodism) as head of the UMC’s Judicial Council? It wouldn’t surprise me if something like this had happened before, but on the other hand it might well be some kind of first.

  2. #2 revere
    May 30, 2007

    It’s my impression he is still on the judicial council, although I am not 100% sure of this (anyone?). I have no answer for your other questions.

  3. #3 Melanie
    May 31, 2007

    The UMC website doesn’t reveal the makeup of the current Judicial Council. Whether or not George Bush is actually a Methodist is open to question. On those rare occasions when he attends church in DC, it is at St. John’s Episcopal. The Clintons (Hillary is Methodist) generally attended Foundry United Methodist in Georgetown.

  4. #4 M. Randolph Kruger
    May 31, 2007

    Nope, no ryhme or reason to the appointment other than we have only a few more months to the election. Looks good on the resume?

    It does point to what happens when an agency is underfunded. Another indication of what happens when government is in charge of healthcare. Wait and see though Revere/Melanie. He might not be approved by the Congress. If the Dems are smart though they should put him in and it will be yet another target for them to throw the darts at.

  5. #5 Toxic Reverend
    June 1, 2007

    Please note:

    The Gulf War Vets have posted
    “Beyond Treason” with depleted uranium
    “What you do not know about
    our government could kill you”

    Might the “incompetence” have been and still is
    a flimsy cover up of illegal radiation and
    biological weapons programs by our

    Consider these stories and
    “connect the dots” :>

    Project Censored 2005 reports >

    #4: High Levels of Uranium Found in Troops and Civilians

    11,000 U.S. Soldiers Dead From D.U. Poisoning,
    By Bob Nichols February 2005

    also published with the title:
    Written by Douglas Westerman, May 1, 2006
    A title search shows that the article has been censored.
    A copy was found posted at


    The Queen’s Death Star: Depleted Uranium Measured in British …
    The highest levels of depleted uranium ever measured in the atmosphere in Britain,
    were transported on air currents from the Middle East and; …


    86A : “Our estimate is that about three-quarters of the current annual
    incidence of breast cancer in the United States is being caused by earlier
    ionizing radiation, primarily from medical sources”.
    Quoted from, John William Gofman MD .
    Of whom was worked on the Manhattan Project:

    Quoted from Gofman, Book on line –

    More lies from Livermore nuclear weapons lab
    by Bob Nichols, Project Censored Award Winner

    Sign the petition from the Union of Concerned Scientists

    Oppose Missile Defense and New Nuclear Weapons Funding
    May 14, 2007


    The Toxic Reverend
    Blog http://people.tribe.net/toxicreverend
    Red Collar Crimes in Radiation Experiments
    (To be updated and edited asp)

    The Gospel of Toxic Revelations
    ^(Rough Draft of “abstract” is posted)^
    Biological / Chemical Weapon Information, History & Treatments.
    Verifiable sources and peer reviewed medical journals.

  6. #6 Tejas
    June 1, 2007

    I believe Bush is Methodist… Here in Austin, the Methodist church Bush attends when in town (and probably dating back through his tenure as governor) built a large underground structure under its front lawn. It appears to be some kind of secure structure. Made a mess not only of the lawn but also the traffic for quite awhile. (This was around the time he started his first term as pres.)

    One thing you can say for him, he remembers his friends and the rest of the players in the good ol boy club — whether they are qualified or not.

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