Thursday, June 26, 2008

Neither Fishy Nor Foul

Fun piece by Taegan Goddard at Political Insider on the GOP's failure to package Barack Obama during the primary season:'s clear Republicans haven't yet settled on who the man is they are facing in the presidential election.

Sometimes he's part of the country club set, other times he's an outsider with a strange name raised by a hippie mother.

Sometimes he's a Christian with a controversial pastor, other times he's a secretive Muslim.

Sometimes he's the black activist who resents white people, other times he's the Ivy league lawyer who doesn't understand the working man.

Sometimes he's naive to the ways of Washington, other times he's politically ruthless and overly ambitious.

And now it's probably too late. Obama has opted out of public financing, and will have nearly unlimited resources to package himself--and John McCain. The decision puts a stain on Obama's halo, but one that voters are likely to forgive, if they care about it at all.

Meanwhile, McCain's brand is seriously tarnished. A long string of flip-flops have made "Straight Talk" a punch line, and he's still trying to get out from under the Bush III label.

It's a given that Obama will spend a lot of time and money selling himself as a patriot with fresh ideas, while going after McCain's policies. His strategy going forward seems clear.

But which way does McCain go? Having squandered the primary season's opportunities to smoke Obama by characterizing him as an unexperienced country-club Muslim radical black Christian flag-hating terrorist, does McCain now spend his relatively limited resources rehabilitating his own image? It's a viable approach. McCain does have gravitas and experience, and although his maverick image is way overblown, he can point to important differences between himself and the GOP Dads.

Or does he focus on building distrust of Obama? Hasn't worked so far, but the secret of the Big Lie is to repeat it incessantly until the hypnotic mantra takes hold.

Or--here's a thought--does he engage Obama on the issues? McCain has legitimate differences with Obama, on issues from Iraq to healthcare. Problem is, it's not at all clear that he can simply paint Obama as a radical liberal, given the electorate's current antipathy toward the GOP.

Politically, we're in a brave new world--a favorable season for Democrats in which the nominee is in a position to outspend the GOP nominee by 3-to-1. How do the Republicans play it?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


New ad from Oregon senator Gordon Smith extolling the legislative work he's done with Barack Obama.

Yeah, that's right. Smith's a republican.

"They Have To Do That To Remove The Jaw"

Lost a filling yesterday afternoon, and had to go the dentist. No big deal, right? Quick nerve block, drill out the failed filling and any new decay, pack with amalgam, see ya bye. Right? Except all of a sudden they're talking about root canals and crowns and all other manner of crimes against humanity.

There were a number of technical difficulties. These culminated in an "easy last step" during which they took an acrylic mold of my repaired teeth from which to mold the permanent crowns.

And then they couldn't get it off.

Seriously. It took two hours, a heavy drill bit, a pair of pliers, a load of elbow grease, a cathartic amount of suffering and, eventually, an additional nerve block to get this lump of steadily hardening super-glue out of my poor mouth. They had to destroy the fucking thing to get it off, along with a fair amount of soft tissue on my gum and cheek. And then, of course, they had to cast another one.

So I'm sitting at home today with some pain pills, flashing on this:

I've Just Discovered...

...Failblog, the clearing house for lolcat-style documentation of human folly:

An essential public service.

Obama Flip-Flops; Decides Not To Be Putz After All

Everything we hear from the McCain camp on Obama's funding reversal is just a mixture of sour grapes and fear. They know that by opting out of public financing, Obama will have the option of carpet-bombing McCain in the general--as a look at Obama's first ad buy clearly demonstrates.

On the ABC roundtable this week, Matt Dowd tries to make the case that this move will tarnish the Obama brand, and he won't get that much extra juice out of it anyway--Obama would find it difficult to spend the extra moolah during the general. Roberts counters that Obama spends his money very wisely, on a state-of-the-art ground game. Donaldson and Dowd retort that in the states where Obama outspent Hillary...he lost.

That's true, but Donaldson and Down miss the point. In his recent massive ad buy, Obama is targeting states he knows he won't win. I mean, really--Alaska? But as he did with Hillary, Obama can use his money to engage McCain everywhere, and bleed him dry. By opting out of public financing, Obama will have the luxury of forcing McCain to compete in states that should be safely red.

At some point during this exchange, Stephanapoulous notes that Brazile has been very quiet. He calls her out, and she nails it:

"I'm sitting here laughing at people who think that Senator Obama will be harmed by going outside the system."

On the other hand, Dowd makes the most succinct and incisive formulation of the general I've heard so far:

"This is an election that Barack Obama could lose....but John McCain can't win."


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Corn Ethanol and The Medical School

A message from Dr. Robert Mentzer, the Dean of Wayne State's School of Medicine. I don't always see eye-to-eye with my Dean--in fact, more often than not, I don't. But this missive is eloquent, and, I think, right on the money. I reproduce it in its entirety.

Dear Colleagues,

During the month of June, the atmosphere at the School of Medicine is always highly-charged and filled with excitement. There is good reason for this - it is the time when the most recent class of Wayne State medical students graduates. Graduation provides tangible evidence of academic success to both students and faculty and validates that the hard work invested by both was worth it. Our 247 medical and doctoral graduates now embark on the next step of their training in the pursuit of the knowledge that will help them further develop their scientific proficiency while applying their knowledge to the clinical practice of medicine.

The pursuit of excellence in medicine is a noble one. It is important to understand that the road to excellence is not always smooth or straight. There will be conflicts and frustrations imposed by the business imperatives that drive other parts of the healthcare system. As physicians, we must navigate through the potholes and curves associated with such restrictions.

For example, there are politicians and business people who would suggest that the academic model of healthcare which has served the people of our city, our state and our nation so well is outdated. A university-based healthcare model emphasizes translation of education and research into new levels of clinical excellence at the bedside. The newer business models embraced by these advocates would sever the connection between these three inter-related elements of medical science.

There are unintended consequences associated with such a strategy.

According to Rob Norton in the The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics, the law of unintended consequences is that the actions of people -- and especially of government -- always have effects that are unanticipated or "unintended." Norton goes on to say that economists and other scientists have heeded its power for centuries; for just as long, politicians and popular opinion have largely ignored it.

Said another way by Dubner and Levitt in the NY Times Magazine in January of this year, the law of unintended consequences is what happens when a simple system tries to regulate a complex system. A political system can be simple, and operate with limited information, short time horizons, low feedback, and poor and misaligned incentives. Society, in contrast, is a complex, evolving, high-feedback, incentive-driven system. When a simple system tries to regulate a complex system, there are often unintended consequences.

The law of unintended consequences is at work in the promotion of bio-fuels, especially methanol, as alternative fuel sources. Methanol is derived from corn and water. Because of the strong political push to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, agricultural incentives have been created to sell corn to bio-fuel producers. This increased demand has driven the price of corn higher. The higher corn prices have disadvantaged the food industry and farmers who rely upon corn as feed for livestock. Consequently, food prices are increasing and are likely to continue to rise.

The same sort of myopic thinking is occurring in our state relative to the academic model of healthcare. Dismantling the parts of our university-based model could have unintended consequences for both the quality of healthcare and its availability to people who have few options. It is a course that could change the focus of medicine away from our mission to one driven by deals and dollars. As healthcare organizations, insurance companies and politicians assume greater control over the direction of patient treatment and protocols, the role of the physician as the primary safeguard of care is diminishing. There seems to be a sense that more effort and better care yield less expensive care. The evidence would suggest otherwise. And the stakes are too high to casually turn away from the issues. Politicians are insulated from the outcomes of poor decisions. Physicians have no such luxury.

The oath physicians take at the outset of their careers means that the patient, regardless of ability to pay, regardless of social standing and regardless of age or the extent of disability must receive the same sort of care as others who are more advantaged. At times, this puts physicians in direct conflict with those who wish to make patient care decisions based upon politics or economics. In truth, physicians are the conscience of our system of healthcare. Physicians, not administrators, must make treatment decisions.

Physicians are biomedical scientists with the unique and special gift of using science to help those with disabling illnesses return to productive lives and to alleviate the pain and suffering associated with disease or trauma. It is a special gift and a tremendous responsibility. Meeting this responsibility requires pursuit of excellence on a road that is filled by a vortex of humanity--human needs and human decisions that are often decidedly unscientific.

It is this that makes the challenge of practicing medicine so interesting and so unique. As fascinating as pure biomedical science can be, science without humanity serves no productive purpose.
(Emphasis added.)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Obama: I'm N Ur WSJ, Rockin' Ur Wrld

Obama goes to enemy territory and gives a interview to the Wall Street Journal.
Here's what I would say: I do believe the tax policies over the last eight years have been badly skewed towards the winners of the global economy. And I do think there is a function for tax policy in making sure that everybody benefits from globalization or at least the benefits and burdens are shared a little more easily. If, as some talk about, we've got a winner-take-all economy where the highly skilled, highly educated are reaping huge rewards and the unskilled or even semi-skilled are getting a much smaller share of the economy, then our tax policies can help cushion some of the blow through providing health care. So if people lose their jobs they're not losing their health care as well. That actually makes a more flexible work force that makes workers more mobile and less resistant to change. If we've got investments in education, that will make us more competitive in the long run. We've got to pay for that like anything else. But it would be a mistake to say I view our tax code only as a distribution question. I also think that our tax code has come to distort a lot of economic decision making so I'd like to see simplification as part of an overall tax agenda.
There's somebody in there.

"I Just Don't Know What To Say."

On the Diane Rehm show yesterday there was a fascinating discussion of the legal and political ramifications of the Supreme Court's recent decision granting habeus corpus relief to detainees at Guantanamo Bay and elsehwere.

You really should listen to the whole thing, and on balance both sides hold their own. Advantage: supporters of last Thursday's decision. But at 34:51 there begins a discussion with a McCain adviser, Kohri Schake. When Diane presses her on the fundamental contradction between McCain's opposition to the decision and his previous statements about closing Gitmo, Schake blows it spectacularly. Worth listening to.

George Will Scares Me

Why? Because I so often agree with him these days. This is what Bush hath wrought: the neocons make paleocons like Will look positively progressive. This from today's column:
As the conservative and libertarian Cato Institute argued in its amicus brief in support of the petitioning detainees, habeas, in the context of U.S. constitutional law, "is a separation of powers principle" involving the judicial and executive branches. The latter cannot be the only judge of its own judgment.
Hardly a ringing endorsement of the Unitary Executive.

You can read Will's column--which, by the way, takes McCain to task for his outrageous pronouncements on the Court's recent habeus decision --here.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Diarrhea! Diarrhea!

I've just updated my website with my most recent lecture to residents and faculty, and so this seems as good a time as any to tell all the thousands of people who don't read my blog that I have a bunch of teaching materials online. You can find my medicine and science-related materials at, under the heading Quantum Meat. There are three kinds of Quantum Meat at my site: Classic Meat (general science articles and presentations, mostly from my days at Neverworlds), Rat Meat (related to my cerebral resuscitation research) and Medical Meat (emergency medicine teaching materials). The most recent lectures on Medical Meat are about diarrhea. I gave a talk on acute diarrheal illness to the residents and faculty in February, and in the course of that presentation mentioned that the approach to diarrhea in AIDS patients was "a whole other lecture."

Great, said the chief resident. When will give us this whole other lecture?

Emergency Medicine Residents are like bottomless pits. They require constant feeding, attention, supervision, love, teaching, pizza and, in my opinion, regular beatings. Apparently, they thrive on potty humor. And when they ask for another lecture you can't say no. Not if you want them to grow up big and strong.

Anyway, here's Diarrhea Part II. It's a powerpoint file, a few Mb, and can be viewed online in Explorer or in Powerpoint. Enjoy.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Fair and Balanced Fox Fires Fairly Unbalanced Fox

After she suggested that the dap Michelle gave Barack on the night he won the nomination was some sort of super-secret terrorist fist bump (no doubt Al-Qaeda Manchurian double-agent code for: Osama--we're in), E.D. Hill, a member of Fox's Stepford Stable of Distinctly Aryan Anchors and the host of America's Pulse, was forced to apologize. The apology itself is a thing of beauty for its own ugly little genre, neatly associating the word terrorist with Obama by apologizing for...associating the word terrorist with Obama. The "moving right along" moment is also nicely done. And, damn, she looks good doing it, doesn't she?

Apparently, however, neither the conspicuous leg nor the non-apology-apology did the trick--Hill lost her show, but will continue to serve Fox "in a capacity to be determined." I'll just let that one go by. I will say, in all fairness, that I actually think the lady has a point when she pleads that she was just reporting on what others had said, and I'm not sure she deserved to lose her show. I'll also admit that when it comes to Fox, schadenfreude overwhelms my sense of fairness every time. I'm always happy to see Faux step in it.

To celebrate, I offer this:


If It's Sunday, We'll Be De-Pressed

I was in the middle of an emergency department shift when I heard of the death of Tim Russert. I took a moment between codes to check, just to be sure it was real. A resident, reading over my shoulder, noted that Russert had just returned from Italy (a long and potentially clot-inducing flight), and wondered aloud whether Tim had succumbed to a pulmonary embolus. "Why don't you focus on your own patients?" I snapped. Then I got back to work myself. I was in a foul mood the rest of the night.

Well, it wasn't a massive PE, it was a lethal coronary occlusion, and that just makes it worse, because so often we can save those lives. But Tim's MI apparently resulted in an immediate lethal tachyarrhythmia, and he could not be resuscitated. It is a terrible, unexpected loss, all the more painful because he was clearly so engaged with and excited by Election '08. Tim was living through history, and as James Kirchick has noted, the pity is he won't get to see how it turns out.

Maybe you loved him, maybe you hated him. More probably, like me, you indulged in a little bit of both, depending on who he was talking to and how hard he pressed them (or not). But, love him or hate him, you could not dismiss him. One can argue that the moment Hillary's campaign finally crumpled was when Russert said so.

Men and women of phenomenal power and stature, presidents, pundits, senators and scientists, gladly lined up to sit in his hot seat. Political junkies like me ate it up. I can't remember how many times, watching MSNBC political coverage, I would think, enough with the lightweights already. What does Russert have to say? The man had juice.

Less than 24 hours after his death, it's already a cliche, but there's no other way to say it: Sunday morning just won't be the same. Be at peace, Tim.

Friday, June 13, 2008

It's The Thought That Counts

You knew this was going to happen: McCain's aging dendrites have become a campaign issue.

In addition to the Race Card, the Gender Card, the Class Card (Green or Platinum), we will henceforth be forced to deal with the Geratol Card, and McCain is already setting the standard for how to play it. If McCain attacks Obama for clinging to failed ideas, or for lacking experience, that's fair game. But Obama must now tiptoe against McCain's doddering political philosophy or risk accusations of ageism.

This is so much bullshit. The fact is that most of McCain's platform is composed of old ideas, ideas that have been particularly prone to displays of incontinence and decrepitude over the last 8 years. On every issue, from tax cuts to Iraq, McCain offers nothing new. And that's fair, because he's conservative, and conservatives aren't about new. Says so, right here on the label.

And that's what's so beautiful about the Age Card. The moment Obama points out that McCain's entire campaign rests on outmoded ideas, or that he's "out of touch" with American people, or that he apparently doesn't realize this-or-that...bam! He's an ageist. Sorry, Obama, the Arizona Senator's ideas are off-limits.

Over at Slate, Chris Beam has a passable piece on what's happening to McCain's cerebral cortex right now. As an exposition on the neurobiology of aging for the lay public, it'll do, although it set of my geek-o-meter a couple of times, and I just couldn't help flashing on the classic pre-election Doonesbury sequence from 1980, "The Mysterious World of Reagan's Brain."

And neurobiology is rather beside the point. I don't care that McCain's brain is old and worn out. It's the ideas inside his brain that are old and worn out. I don't know whether it's his ossified synapses or his ideology that keep him from thinking differently on the economy or Iraq or foreign policy. And frankly, I don't care. The result is the same.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Lithwick Skewers Scalia

Over at Slate today, Dahlia Lithwick totally obliterates Scalia's hysterical dissent in today's Supreme Court adjudication of Boumediene v. Bush and Al Odah v. US, in which the majority (Kennedy, Souter, Ginsberg, Stevens and Breyer) decided to Let The Terrorists Win by...upholding the Great Writ of Habeus Corpus.

Just a sample:
"...even those who were deemed innocent at Guantanamo are actually guilty in Scalia's mind. And whether or not they ever get to go home, the mere act of providing them with civilian court oversight will surely endanger yet more American lives. For this proposition, Scalia cites the trial of Omar Abdel Rahman in federal court in 1995, in which the names of 200 unindicted conspirators were leaked to Osama Bin Laden. Just to recap, then, everyone at Guantanamo is guilty, and the mere act of trying them will result in more American deaths. This raises the question of what Scalia would do with these prisoners, many of whom have been held for six years without charges. If they can't reasonably be tried or released, it must be a great comfort to believe that they are all killers and terrorists, and no further proof is needed." (Italics added.)
I always love Lithwick, and as Scalia becomes more unhinged, he's an ever-easier and more inviting target. Still, Dahlia is in particularly incisive form today. Read it here.

The Western Tradition

If you've never seen The Western Tradition, a production of the Annenberg CPB Project from the mid-80's, then you're in for a treat. This program, comprised of 52 half-hour episodes, covers the history of Western Civilization from the prehistoric era (creationists beware!) to just before the fall of the Soviet Union.

For its time, TWT was beautifully produced, and holds up admirably against the dumbed-down mush that prevails on the History Channel or the higher-quality stuff from the Learning Compan
y. When I first aw it, fifteen years ago, I fell in love with it immediately, for its sweeping view of the rise and fall of civilizations, the way it cast the flow of history into the molds forged by geography, economics and, above all, human motivations, for its lush and liberal use of art from every era of history, and its excellent use of animated cartography.

Most of all, I treasure The Western Tradition because of the man who created and presented it, Dr. Eugen Weber. Weber was a Professor and Chairman of the Department of History at UCLA, specializing in fin de siecle France. Born in Romania, he served with the British in India in WWII, after which he studied at Oxford and eventually emigrated to the US. His historical treatises on France turned the field on its head, and are much-beloved by the French, which, if you consider that he was a foreigner, and if you know anything at all about the French, is really quite something.
In his presentation of TWT, Weber is clear, engaging, elegant, eloquent, urbane, sparkling, wry, penetrating--and mischievous. He's so frickin' cool that we had to write him and tell him just how cool he was, and his elegant and gracious response to us was even more cool. My wife and I had always hoped he would do a TWT follow-up (a la Sagan) on the post-Soviet world, but he died a little over a year ago at the age of 82, and his obituary documents a life well-lived.
And so, let me present anybody who just might happen to be reading with a priceless link. The Western Tradition is available in its entirety from Annenberg Media for free.

I hope it serves you as entertainment, education, perspective, and as a basis for further study. I hope it brings you as much pleasure as it has given me.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Republic Death Watch

You can make a pretty good argument that the outlook for the future of our Republic is less than rosy. Me? I'm an optimist. I still think the United States can command a leading economic, geopolitical and military position in this century. But you have to admit that a lot of the signs are bad. Huge swaths of the American electorate believe in angels and ufos, but can't name a single Supreme Court justice. Everybody has an opinion on Iraq, but I've noticed that the most boisterous supporters of the Bush foreign policy can't find Iraq on a map or name a single country that shares an Iraqi border. We're still wringing our hands over race, gender, and sexual orientation, and millions of Americans reject modern science in favor of Palestinian Iron Age creation mythologies. And of course, we fiddle while the planet burns.

The latest sign of a moribund republic? The Senate releases a report that basically comes out and says the Bush Administration lied the American people into a $3 trillion war, and the only pundit who really covers it is...Jon Stewart.

Our Power Grid: In The Wind

Been off line for a few days because of the system of thunderstorms that stomped through the Midwest over the weekend. We lost power in Sullyland for about 72 hours. This happens with increasing frequency here. We lived in this older, highly wooded area of Farmington Hills for about five years before we ever lost power for more than a few minutes. Now, every time there's a stronger-than-average gust or two, we're off the grid for days, about 3-4 time per year.

This entire uncomfortabe affair raised the same two perennial questions:

1. Why haven't we bought a &^%$#@!&*ing generator yet? (We're on it. Never Again).

2. Why aren't power lines buried? On this one, I'm still reading, but it looks like I'm not the only one asking. Seems that more and more new communities are burying their power lines, but burying old networks is such a huge expense that most municipalities can't afford it. But as weather becomes more volatile, this issue could pick up more steam.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Presidential Debate by Proxy

Kerry for Obama, Graham for McCain on This Week. I've always thought that Graham was engaging and sharp. Got that homey drawl and them folksy ways, but still one smart feller.

Kerry, on the other hand, just can't help himself: he's arch, plodding, stentorian, and...well, he's Kerry. So I was inclined to just give the match to Graham by default,Tivo past it, and spare myself the pain and disappointment.

But for my money Kerry edged out Graham in spite of being Kerry. Why? It's all in the material, baby. Yes, Kerry was Kerry. Monolithic, monotonic, perfectly coiffed, and vaguely offputting. But he had the goods: he had the Obama plan and the McCain record to work with.

And so did Graham. When you're out there arguing that we need to keep tax cuts for rich people permanent, that our health care system is fine just the way it is, that a 90% voting-with-Bush record is somehow "maverick," and that we need to cut government spending for domestic programs while continuing to blow a gajillion a week in Iraq...well, then even Kerry can kick your ass.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

At Long Last

I'll round out day one of SullyDogBlog with a stab at politics.

Today, Hillary Clinton suspended her campaign and endorsed Barack Obama's candidacy for President. And the whole nation exhales.

Even John McCain had to be getting sick of this. Far from propelling his candidacy, the ongoing primary battle between Barry and Hill showed every sign of toughening Obama up for the general, and was sucking all of the media oxygen away from the dyspneic McCain campaign. Still, it goes without saying that Obama, who has arguably been the inevitable nominee since Wisconsin, couldn't get his campaign rolling until Hill had been dispatched. And for a while there, some on the left (like me--might as well get that out there right now) were worried that Hill just wouldn't die, and would prefer to split her party, cripple Obama, and start planning for 2012 rather than endorse the democratic nominee. Her non-concession concession on Tuesday night felt to some of us like the first step of the descent into that nightmare scenario. Talk about bitter.

Well, it isn't going to happen, and in retrospect, of course, it never would. Hillary Clinton isn't stupid, and she knows what would have happened to her political future in that scenario. Her speech today, while tinged with regret and subtle angling for the second slot, was nevertheless a full-throated endorsement of Obama.

At times, Hill's speech today was almost soaring--especially when she was beseeching her supporters to follow the Obama standard. Gone was the shrill, fingernails-on-a-blackboard timbre of her earlier speechifying. And I couldn't help thinking: what if her speeches leading up to Iowa, New Hampshire, and Super Tuesday had been more like this one? Things might have turned out very differently.

If Hillary can get a sizable enough fraction of her major constituency--working class white women--to follow Obama, and if Obama doesn't stumble, there's a better than even chance, I think, that John McCain is going to have a very bad year.

Stroke me, Stroke me.

As good a way as any to get this going: announce the publication of my most recent scientific paper. It is, I hope, the end of a fairly fallow period for our lab, the Emergency Medicine Cerebral Resuscitation Laboratory at Wayne State University in Detroit. The paper has to do with the use of insulin in stroke, which is a subject I've been involved with since 1999. In that year, I published work showing that a very high dose of insulin administered to animals after 10 minutes of cardiac arrest could rescue protein synthesis in vulnerable brain cells. But we suspected that wasn't the only good thing insulin did for brains after ischemia. (Ischemia is the condition created when blood flow to an organ is interrupted, as in stroke, cardiac arrest, and heart attack.)

Since that first paper, the stroke research community has learned that one of the key events occuring in vulnerable brain cells during stroke is the release of a protein called cytochrome c from mitochondria. Mitochondria are the powerplants of every cell. And, as is the case elsewhere in life, it's just no good when your powerplant leaks. When mitochondria leak cytochrome c into the rest of cell, it's harmful to their ability to generate power, and leads to the production of free radicals. But more importantly, the leaking of cytochrome c is a self-destruct signal, causing the cell to off itself in a process called apoptosis.

In the new paper, my colleagues and I demonstrate that high-dose insulin administered to animals with brain ischemia prevents the release of cytochrome c and preserves brain cells after transient global brain ischemia, the kind of brain ischemia that can devastate patients resuscitated from even very brief periods of cardiac arrest. We are guessing that this approach has value in stroke and head trauma as well, although that remains to be proven.

You can see the abstract of the paper here.

First Post

I guess the first thing to say is that this feels vaguely masturbatory.

I am under no illusions. This ain't the Daily Kos. I'll be astonished if anybody bothers to read it at all. But I like to write, and I like to argue, and I like to keep track of what I'm doing, what I'm thinking...and what I'm writing. This isn't so much my blog as it is my Dear Diary.

What will I write about at SullyDogBlog? Stuff that may or may not be of interest to anybody. A lot of it may be completely banal: my garden, my cats, my lunch. Woo hoo. I'll probably do some writing about my work as an emergency physician, especially when it pisses me off, which it does not infrequently. I'll probably write about our progress in the Wayne State University Cerebral Resuscitation Laboratory, which tends to come in fits and starts. I'll write as well about some of my other science interests. And of course what blogger doesn't write about culture, culture wars, the media and politics?

So here goes the blog that might better have been named "Dear Diary Blog," and will probably be kept just as irregularly as I suspect most diaries are. If you're reading this, I can only assume that you are intelligent, discriminating, cosmopolitan, and really, really bored. Welcome.