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McCamy Taylor

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Member since: Tue Nov 9, 2004, 07:05 PM
Number of posts: 18,279

About Me

Here is my fiction website: http://home.earthlink.net/~mccamytaylor/ My political cartoon site: http://www.grandtheftelectionohio.com/

Journal Archives

This is It!

If we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the president clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state.

How on earth did Barr construe this as "Mueller found no evidence of obstruction of justice"? Barr must be held accountable for his lie. And Congress must continue to investigate Trump.
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Thu Apr 18, 2019, 09:40 PM (19 replies)

Not Sure "White haired elderly man gives hugs" is Having Its Intended Political Effect.

It may just be me, but I think it is making Biden seem friendly, avuncular. You know. Like a regular Joe.

Here is another white haired elderly man who gives hugs:

Posted by McCamy Taylor | Sat Apr 6, 2019, 11:01 AM (17 replies)

Health Care Journalism: Who Does It Serve?

There is a code of ethics for Health care Journalists, just as there is for health care providers.


However, health care news is a mine field that can cost patients their lives. Two recent examples:

1) Stories about how elderly with no history of heart disease and no risk factors of heart disease should not be started on aspirin for heart disease prevention since their risk of getting an ulcer from the aspirin is higher than their risk of developing the health disease that they obviously are not going to get. These have been presented in such a way that patients have gotten the impression that aspirin is bad for the elderly. I have encountered elderly heart patients with coronary artery disease and stents who have stopped their aspirin because of these stories. This is not good. They are at high risk for platelet clumping followed by acute myocardial infarction followed by congestive heart failure and death without that aspirin 81 mg a day. Note that there are no stories about how Plavix/Eliquis/Brilinta can cause ulcers. I see upper gastrointestinal bleeds in patients on these much more than I see it on people taking aspirin 81 mg.

2) Stories about how a few lots of Losartan were contaminated have turned into rumors that all Losartan causes cancer. I have seen patients who have stopped their Losartan as a result. Note that Losartan not only controls the blood pressure. It also relieves strain on the heart in people with congestive heart failure and prevents kidney damage in people with diabetes. Losartan is the cheapest of its class, the ARBs.

Sensationalism sells copy. But I wonder how many health care journalists print what their corporate masters in Big Pharm and Wall Street tell them to write. And before you accuse me of wearing a tinfoil hate, remember that during the W. Bush administration, the FDA banned ergot for migraines and quinine for leg cramps in the same day, increasing the potential market for Glaxo-Smith-Klines Requip and Imitrex . And the makers of Seldane (at that time the only non-sedating antihistamine) successfully petitioned the FDA to ban Seldane one month before it was due to go generic, meaning there would be no cheap generic competition for their new, patent non-sedating antihistamine, Allegra.


Meaning that Big Pharm makes big money of they can take away patient's options to use cheap, generic medications.

Maybe we need a Media Matters for health care journalism.
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Sat Apr 6, 2019, 10:48 AM (0 replies)

PTSD, Sleep Apnea and GERD: A Hypothesis

Wanted to share some thoughts I had today about the difficult problem of treating sleep apnea in people who are hypervigilant and therefore sleep too lightly to use CPAP. A group which includes me (as you will know if you have read any of my books on the subject)

Recent studies have shown that Post Traumatic Stress ( PTSD) is strongly associated with sleep apnea. For instance, servicemen and women returning from combat will often have a constellation of problems including PTSD/sleep apnea/migraine headaches. In order to treat any one of these three problems, all must be addressed. Many of these soldiers are young, have normal body weight and have no family history of sleep apnea (or migraines or mental illness). Compare this to the average sleep apnea sufferer in the civilian world who tends to be older, heavier and to have a strong family history of sleep apnea. These PTSD/sleep apnea patients tend to sleep more lightly, and they often cannot tolerate CPAP (which wakes them up).

Recently, dronabinol, the marijuana derivative that is used for intractable nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy has been shown to decrease the severity of sleep apnea by one half in people with sleep apnea who are intolerant of CPAP. How does a medication whose primary effect is on the stomach and GI tract improve sleep apnea?

Let’s go back a moment to early infancy. There is something called the laryngeal chemoreflex that is very active in the new born up until about 6 months of age. When gastric acid creeps up the throat and gets near the airway---bam!—the airway squeezes shut, the baby stops breathing for a few seconds, the heart rate goes down, the baby swallows—and then the apneic spell is over. These spells happen an average of one to two times an hour in the sleeping infant. Usually no harm is done. The baby does not even wake up.
This type of reflex is important in the infant who spends most of his time lying on his back including immediately after meals. Aspiration pneumonia is dangerous. Eventually, the child outgrows the laryngeal chemoreflex---

But what if the chemical changes associated with PTSD bring the laryngeal chemoreflex back? A patient suffering from post-traumatic stress lies down to sleep. A little bit of stomach acid regurgitates into the esophagus—not enough to actually threaten the airway with aspiration. But if the same mechanism that makes that woman a bundle of nerves who jumps at every slammed door and car backfire during the day is working overtime at night too, then maybe the mere hint of stomach acid near the airway is enough to shut down breathing activity altogether. And, in an adult, such apneic spells are more likely to disturb the sleep, taking one from deep to light sleep or even causing the sleeper to wake to a feeling of panic or smothering.

The next part will get a little technical, so feel free to skip if biochemistry and neuroanatomy are not your hobbies. There is a portion of the vagus nerve called the nodose ganglion which, when 5HT receptors are stimulated causes reflex apnea. Researchers injected that ganglion with cannabinoids---and respiration improved, the apnea stopped. PTSD has been linked to disruption of normal neuroendocrine hormones including 5HT and serotonin.

If this hypothesis is correct, then perhaps we should be applying the lessons learned by pediatric sleep experts to the sleep apnea of young adults with PTSD. Gastroesophageal reflux disease is understood to be a factor in infantile sleep apnea. Perhaps it is a factor in certain forms of adult sleep apnea. This in turn raises the possibility that control of GERD might do more to help PTSD patients get a good night sleep than CPAP. It is also possible that we will see real progress in sleep apnea therapy, either through medications or treatments that affect the vagus nerve or even biofeedback to down grade the laryngeal chemoreflex.

Below are two particularly well written abstracts followed by a list of other references.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) affects one in five adult males and is associated with significant comorbidity, cognitive impairment, excessive daytime sleepiness, and reduced quality of life. For over 25 years, the primary treatment has been continuous positive airway pressure, which introduces a column of air that serves as a pneumatic splint for the upper airway, preventing the airway collapse that is the physiologic definition of this syndrome. However, issues with patient tolerance and unacceptable levels of treatment adherence motivated the exploration of other potential treatments. With greater understanding of the physiologic mechanisms associated with OSA, novel interventions have emerged in the last 5 years. The purpose of this article is to describe new treatments for OSA and associated complex sleep apnea. New approaches to complex sleep apnea have included adaptive servoventilation. There is increased literature on the contribution of behavioral interventions to improve adherence with continuous positive airway pressure that have proven quite effective. New non-surgical treatments include oral pressure devices, improved mandibular advancement devices, nasal expiratory positive airway pressure, and newer approaches to positional therapy. Recent innovations in surgical interventions have included laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty, radiofrequency ablation, palatal implants, and electrical stimulation of the upper airway muscles. No drugs have been approved to treat OSA, but potential drug therapies have centered on increasing ventilatory drive, altering the arousal threshold, modifying loop gain (a dimensionless value quantifying the stability of the ventilatory control system), or preventing airway collapse by affecting the surface tension. An emerging approach is the application of cannabinoids to increase upper airway tone.


The classic fight-or-flight response to perceived threat is a reflexive nervous phenomenon that has obvious survival advantages in evolutionary terms. However, the systems that organize the constellation of reflexive survival behaviors following exposure to perceived threat can under some circumstances become dysregulated in the process. Chronic dysregulation of these systems can lead to functional impairment in certain individuals who become “psychologically traumatized” and suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), A body of data accumulated over several decades has demonstrated neurobiological abnormalities in PTSD patients. Some of these findings offer insight into the pathophysiology of PTSD as well as the biological vulnerability of certain populations to develop PTSD, Several pathological features found in PTSD patients overlap with features found in patients with traumatic brain injury paralleling the shared signs and symptoms of these clinical syndromes.


Some additional references:
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Thu Apr 4, 2019, 10:35 PM (12 replies)

Just Because It Annoyed You, That Does Not Make It Criminal

We have seen one candidate reviled because she annoyed a staffer by demanding a fork for her salad. We have seen another reviled because he annoyed a politician by touching her shoulders and hair. What's next? A candidate knee-capped because he cut off someone in traffic (we all know how annoying that is)?

Thanks to twitter, every one of us can now be the center of the universe. All the (mostly imagined) slings and arrows that we have endured can be transformed into sweet, sweet revenge. But at what cost?

Posted by McCamy Taylor | Wed Apr 3, 2019, 08:34 AM (5 replies)

Catholics are Touchie-Feelie. Joe Biden is Catholic

If you have never been to a Catholic mass, you probably do not know that part of the proceedings involve blatant, deliberate bodily contact with strangers.


The sign of peace has its liturgical and spiritual roots in Jesus’ teaching on forgiveness prior to offering gifts on the altar (Mt 5:23-24). That is, if someone had a grievance against his brother, he should first “be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.”

As Christian worship evolved, the gesture of a “kiss of peace” was a way to unite the community gathered in love and reconciliation. Without being at peace, the community and its members could not fully reflect or live the peace and love of Christ in Eucharist.

The “kiss of peace” took on various forms as liturgy developed. Sometimes it involved clergy and congregation, and sometimes only clergy. Today, we know this part of the Mass, placed just after the Lord’s Prayer and a brief invitation by the priest (“Let us offer each other the sign of peace.”), as the sign of peace.


Jesus hugged children, embraced cripples and kissed lepers. St. Paul asked Christians to “greet all the brothers and sisters with a holy kiss” (1 Thessalonians 5:26.) A holy kiss is synonymous with a hug today: a warm, friendly, respectful gesture of unity and loving regard. Paul repeats the suggestion to four other communities, as does Peter when he asks his followers to “greet each other with a kiss of Christian love” (1 Peter 5:14). The kiss of peace at Mass comes from this ancient tradition.

Ok, go on and make the pedo jokes. But remember that cultural confusion is a very real thing. American Amanda Knox was thrown into Italian jail for murder because she did not weep hysterically in public when her roommate died. How many folks have had their feelings hurt because someone from a "We never touch!" culture refused an offered hug?
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Mon Apr 1, 2019, 09:35 PM (15 replies)

John Mitchell, Alberto Gonzales..and now Bill Barr

I happen to believe that the entire Mueller report has already been leaked to House Democrats. For one thing, unless it was typed on an old IBM Selectric and mailed via carrier pigeons a la John Wick, it has probably been hacked at least a half dozen times. At least one of the hackers would have shared it with someone who would have given it to a prominent Democrat or Democratic Party supporter or an enemy of Donald Trump (and there are many). Plus, there are plenty of media outlets that would be wiling to pay a hacker large sums of money for the real thing. What a scoop!.

So, why is no one claiming to have the report yet? For one thing, that would give Donald trump and his Republican stooges a chance to demand an investigation. "Who leaked?" would be Fox News' response to "Trump Obstructed Justice." Better to sit tight until the official release date. And then, those who are already pouring over it can quickly announce the evidence of obstruction and issue subpoenas to those who will be called upon to testify before Congress.

But there is another possibility, one that Barr ought to be considering as he prepares to redact the investigation report to please his boss, Donald Trump. The Democratic House could be setting Barr up. Allow him to redact everything that might indicate that Trump obstructed justice (we already know he did, from the firing of Comey to his illegal witness tampering) and then compare the document he presents to Congress with the real one. If the Barr document carefully trims every evidence of Trump's obstruction of justice that makes the current Attorney General an accessory to obstruction of justice. And there is no easier target for a Congressional investigation and impeachment effort than an Attorney General who breaks the law, because the Attorney General is the law and can not plead ignorance or act like an idiot who did not know better or even plead the Fifth.

Prediction--first head to roll will be Barr's himself unless he is very, very careful.
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Fri Mar 29, 2019, 09:02 PM (3 replies)

Big Pharm's Greed and the Ever Rising Cost of Drugs

Pharmacy Bro was not an aberration. He was just an overachiever. Here are some modern examples of price gouging by Big Pharm

1) take colchicine, an old generic, get a new FDA indication for a short course for gout and then the only colchicine on the market is the overpriced Colcrys

2) take guafenesin, the generic mucolytic in Robutussin and declare that one company, Mucinex owns a patent to it in pill form

3) Take Doxycyclne an old generic antibiotic that used to be $4, get a monopoly on th precursor ingredient and suddenly you can charge $50 or more dollars for a course

4) Take cefixime (used to be Suprax) the only generic oral third generation cephalosprin and got to court any time any other generic manufacturer tries to make it, meaning that a course can cost $200.

5) Bribe the Bush FDA to ban ergot (migraine) and quinine (restless leg) so that Glaxo-Smith-Kline can make more money selling Imitrex and Reqip.

6)Wait until Lyrica, the expensive version of gabapentin loses its patent to begin a public relations campaign aimed at driving gabapentin (cheap generic) from the market where it is widely used as a non-opiate chronic pain treatment.

7) Wait until your own product Seldane, at that time the only non-sedating antihistamine is about to go generic and petition the FDA to take it from the market due to rare side effects just as your company is about to release its new, patent non-sedating antihistamine.

8) Mylan raaised the price of Epi-Pen 500%--because they could.

9) and now Mylan is suddenly not producing Buspar (buspirone) a popular anti-anxiety med that is not a benzo creating national shortage and panic among anxiety patients. Wanna bet that when it comes back to the market, it will have a higher price?

Here is the Washington Post on how Big Pharm conspires to fix prices of generics.

Posted by McCamy Taylor | Tue Mar 19, 2019, 10:03 PM (8 replies)

In Answer to Paul Krugman's Question: How Do We Save Rural America? Answer: Medicaid Expansion

NYT has not published any of my comments since I suggested that David Brooks was only supporting reparations because it is an issue the GOP hopes will fan the flames of white victim-hood. So, here is what I sent in response to Paul Krugman's latest piece about how to fix rural America:

Here is one simple thing that could make a world of difference. Encourage all states to accept the Medicaid expansion. Anyone who has visited rural Colorado or New Mexico recently knows that clinics, pharmacies and even hospitals spring up in rural areas when the population is insured. And then, these rural areas flourish. Compare this to rural Texas/Georgia and the southern states in between where you have to travel to a big city for health care--and where small towns are mostly boarded up.

Why does health care matter? One, it creates jobs. Well paying jobs. Health care spending is second only to education spending as a way to encourage economic growth.

Two, it keeps the local population healthy so the kids can go to school and get higher educations. It keeps the kids' parents healthy so they can work to put their kids through school.

And three, employers that offer health insurance are more likely to locate in an area that has health care providers. And those who work from home--say by computer, often highly skilled and highly paid professionals---will be more likely to buy the house of their dreams in the country if they know that the closest ER is not three hours away.
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Mon Mar 18, 2019, 07:52 PM (0 replies)

Help Me Out Here? WTF is the "Purity Patrol" in regards to the Democratic Primaries?

I googled "Purity Patrol" and got an environmental group that tests water. But in a political context this makes no sense. How does "purity patrol" relate to the Democratic Primaries? Is there some broader meaning to this phrase that I do not understand? In the context in which I heard it used, it struck me as being sort of a politically loaded comment, like "political correctness" as it used to be used to protect hate speech and "welfare queen" as used by Reagan to make poverty something to despise rather than something to pity.

Or maybe it is like Paws Patrol? My grandson loves Paws Patrol.

BTW, I will be here often checking for Divide and Conquer/Kneecapping/ and Anyone is a Phony (favorite GOP Democratic Primary lie of the 21st century). And if something troubles me, I will say so. This is a political forum that encourages political debate. We should all come away from this forum at the end of the day a little bit more politically savvy (I know I do. I now know the phrase "purity patrol') Anyone who objects to me checking for Divide and Conquer/Kneecapping/Anyone is a Phony, please let me know why. If your objection is that for the first time in decades, I have chosen not to remain undecided, well, sometimes Granny has to shake things up a bit. If your objection is that I am a smart ass, then you are correct. The snark is strong within you, McCamy. If your objection is that my comments do not reflect the opinions of the guy at the bottom of my page, I am not pretending to reflect his opinions. I have been around for a long time and my opinions are my own and no young whippersnapper from El Paso will make me change my opinions.

Party on, dudes. And by that, I mean Democratic Party on! And if you have not read Hunter S. Thompson's "Fear and loathing on the Campaign Trail 1972" Angela Davis's "Women, Race and Class" and Eric Hobsbawn's "Bandits" (the last pertains specifically to Trump and his popularity with his rural base and gives clues as to how best to divide him from his base) then add them to your summer reading list.

This is shaping up to be a great primary. I wish Dr. Gonzo and Molly Ivins were here. They would love this one.

Posted by McCamy Taylor | Sat Mar 16, 2019, 02:13 PM (5 replies)
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