Lung Doctor Analyzes George Floyd Autopsy Report (MEDICAL EXPLANATION)

Lung Doctor Analyzes George Floyd Autopsy Report (MEDICAL EXPLANATION)

Let’s be clear..we’ve all seen the video by now. It’s obvious that these police officers killed George Floyd. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner, and the independent medical examiner hired by the family of George Floyd, Dr. Michael Baden, have concluded that his death was a homicide….but their opinion differs on the cause of death. But if both of them declared that his death was a homicide, does the cause of death really matter? (YES). I want justice for George Floyd, and that is why I’m making this video, because the medical explanation for his cause of death, is not a simple explanation. As a lung doctor, part of my job is to figure out why people can’t breathe. As an intensive care doctor, part of my job is to care for people who are on the brink of death. Like when someone can’t breathe. So when someone dies of asphyxia, as is the case of George Floyd, the determination of the cause of death is dependent on information elicited based on the investigation, which includes, the deceased personal medical history namely, autopsy, and crime scene investigation, which of course includes video evidence. Asphyxia is a Greek term that translates to “loss of pulse.”

Mechanical asphyxia involves some physical force or physical abnormality that interferes with the uptake and/or delivery of oxygen. With asphyxia, the brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, and when the pons and the medulla aren’t getting enough oxygen, they can no longer function. This means they can no longer tell the diaphragm to contract, and breathing then stops. While this happens, the heart is also not getting enough oxygen, and typically the heart pumps slower and slower until it stops. Prolonged continuous application of extreme pressure on the thorax, such as with the bodyweight of several officers, is capable of causing death. This is important, because this contributed to the death of George Floyd, in addition to the knee to the neck. The neck contains our airway, the trachea, and it also contains carotid and vertebral arteries and jugular veins. The arteries here deliver oxygenated blood to the brain, while the jugular veins allow the deoxygenated blood to flow back to the heart. So what happens when pressure is placed on the neck? Well, it depends, on a lot of different factors (amount and duration of pressure, etc). And looking at the George Floyd video, he was unconscious for more than 2 minutes with the knee still on his neck. There’s no doubt, that during this time, he took his last breath, and right around the same time, lost his pulse. By the time the EMS guy checks his pulse, I highly doubt he actually felt a pulse, because it was more than two minutes after George lost consciousness. It was obvious that when they moved George onto the stretcher, he was completely limp because he was dead. And it wasn’t until much later, did they start CPR, in the ambulance. Now let’s get to what the medical examiners had to say about this case.

Dr. Michael Baden, who did the independent autopsy says Floyd died of “asphyxiation from sustained pressure when his back and neck were compressed, with the neck pressure cutting off blood flow to his brain.” I agree with that assessment. I would also add that partial compression of the trachea, causing airway compromise, was also possible. The weight on George’s back made the work of breathing much harder for his diaphragm, and the neck pressure at the very least meant less blood (and thus oxygen) was being delivered to his brain, and less carbon dioxide could be removed from his brain. After a while, the diaphragm becomes fatigued, and no longer has the strength to contract, which means the lungs can’t get oxygen into the blood, and can’t get carbon dioxide out of the blood. And all of this caused him to lose consciousness. And probably within seconds, he lost a pulse. And despite losing consciousness, and despite losing a pulse, they continued to apply pressure on the neck, and put their weight on his back. The Hennepin County medical examiner’s office said that the cause of death is “cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression.” This statement doesn’t really make sense to me. But the Hennepin County release also says heart disease was an issue; the independent examiner didn’t find that. The county said that fentanyl and methamphetamine use were among “significant conditions,” but its report didn’t say how much of either drug was in Floyd’s system or how that may have contributed. But Dr. Michael Baden got it right.

– Doctor Mike Hansen

Supreme Court case on Trump’s taxes may show if he benefits from CARES Act

In early May, after weeks of delay prompted by the pandemic, the US Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in three highly-anticipated cases about president Donald Trump’s financial records. One of those matters involve a subpoena for Trump’s taxes.

The case is important. Trump, unlike any president in recent history, has refused to disclose his finances, obscuring potential conflict of interests between his government and his personal business. But the issue has now taken on a whole new urgency because the $2.2 trillion CARES Act passed by Congress last month contains deep within its 800 pages two barely-noticeable tax clauses that only benefit rich Americans, perhaps including the president.

The new tax clauses will cost Americans about $195 billion over 10 years. They suspend previously-placed limits on tax offsets and apply retroactively, meaning millionaires will make a killing based on past circumstances while millions of Americans lose their jobs and struggle to survive the economic effects of the coronavirus crisis. This, despite the fact that, officially, the businesses of Trump and others in government cannot benefit from the stimulus package.

In other words, politicians apparently found a workaround for the protections meant to shield the people from government corruption.

“The [tax] policy is complex,” senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island told Quartz. “But the principle is straightforward: In the midst of a national health emergency, we ought to help those who need it—like healthcare workers and small businesses—not give huge tax breaks to hedge fund managers and real estate investors. This is a special-interest looting of the American taxpayer, plain and simple.”

Precisely how much Trump stands to gain from the “bonanza” tax breaks is unclear because he has refused to disclose his finances. The president has so far intervened in cases ordering his accountants and business associates to reveal their dealings with him, arguing that the chief executive’s records are special.

Supreme Court precedent indicates otherwise, however, and the new tax provisions in the CARES Act raise additional suspicions about his secret records that can’t be put to rest without full disclosure.

“If we had Trump’s tax returns, as we do for every other president in the modern era, the American people could see what kind of conflicts of interest and financial mischief swirl around their president,” Whitehouse said. “In this case, we could see whether Trump himself would benefit from giveaways like these provisions.”

On swindles and windfalls

The suspect clauses are hundreds of pages deep in the hastily-passed emergency CARES Act. They benefit a relatively small group of wealthy taxpayers and have nothing to do with battling Covid-19 or providing relief to the Americans worst-hit by the crisis, but Whitehouse said Republican politicians made them a priority during negotiations.

Members of Congress knew the tax clauses were in there. But the specifics, the extent to which these breaks could line the pockets of the rich and benefit wealthy real estate investors like the president and his son-in-law Jared Kushner, were not immediately apparent.

“What was a surprise was just how much money those provisions will loot from taxpayers to send to real estate investors and other million-dollar-plus earners—tax filers like the Trumps and Kushners,” Whitehouse said.

The astronomical cost only became evident a day after CARES was signed into law, when the nonpartisan congressional Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) published an analysis of the provisions. The committee’s latest findings show that four of five millionaires will pocket an average of $1.6 million more this year alone thanks to the stimulus bill. This of course dwarfs the $1,200 one-time checks average Americans will receive.

In total the tax clauses will cost taxpayers more than the funding allotted in the CARES Act to all hospitals throughout the US, and more than the relief provided to all state and local governments, according to the JCT analysis. Together, they are the costliest elements of the relief package. For that reason, Whitehouse and Texas representative Lloyd Doggett, as committee members, want to know what role, if any, the Trump administration played in advocating for these policies.

On April 9, they sent a letter demanding to review all communications pertaining to any internal advocacy for the suspect clauses. The missive was addressed to vice president Mike Pence, secretary of the treasury Steven Mnuchin, and acting director of the Office of Management and Budget Russell Vought. The lawmakers want the records “so that Congress and the American public can better understand the provenance of these tax law changes, and assess whether any individuals within the Administration who stand to gain from these provisions were involved in their development.”

SCOTUS to the rescue?

One bitter irony of this especially cruel spring of 2020 is that the CARES Act was signed into law on March 27, just days before the Supreme Court was originally meant to hear the Trump finance matters.

The hearings were delayed due to concerns about crowds in the courtroom. They would not have addressed the suspicious provisions in the CARES Act. But perhaps the JCT’s discovery of the tax clauses’ astronomical cost, published just ahead of debates over the president’s unprecedented secrecy, would have alerted Americans to the need for full financial disclosure from Trump and his subpoenaed business associates.

Instead, whispers of the secret tax windfalls were drowned out by the roar of justified pandemic panic. At that point, the people were more worried about ventilator and mask shortages than secret surpluses for the super rich and there was no dearth of pressing news to preoccupy journalists and readers. Indeed, it seemed—at least to some—that the typical ideological rifts had been overcome for the common good. “At times, our nation can appear sharply divided; divided by generations, by left and right, by our differences, and even by the donkey and the elephant,” Forbes wrote hopefully of the stimulus bill. “Sometimes, circumstances arise that compel us to either rise as one or be shattered.”

Alas, that quickly proved to be an illusion. The reality is far more stark. As The Washington Post put it on April 14, “[E]very voter should know that, at a time when hospitals, cities and states cried out for help with the pandemic, the president’s allies in Congress tossed a [$195 billion] lifeline in the direction of Trump, Kushner and other rich people who needed it the least.”

Now, with the federal and state governments planning an easing of lockdowns—or as the Trump administration puts it “Opening Up America Again”—it’s perhaps also the right moment to pay attention to the president’s unprecedented secrecy about his finances.

If the Supreme Court decides after its historic telephonic oral arguments on May 4 that Trump doesn’t have the right to hide his taxes and financial records, contrary to his claims, the third parties subpoenaed over their dealings with Trump will turn the records over, they say. Whitehouse said the documentation could potentially clarify the extent to which Trump will personally benefit from the costly tax clauses in the CARES Act.

“We already know about massive conflicts of interest for the president, whether it’s foreign dignitaries staying at his hotels or shunting military planes to Scotland to steer business to his resorts,” the senator said. “Seeing the president’s full financial records would show us much more, like whether these provisions will pad the Trump family’s bottom line.”

Need to Know: Coronavirus

Charmian Gooch: Meet global corruption’s hidden players

When the son of the president of a desperately poor country starts buying mansions and sportscars on an official monthly salary of $7,000, Charmian Gooch suggests, corruption is probably somewhere in the picture. In a blistering, eye-opening talk (and through several specific examples), she details how global corruption trackers follow the money — to some surprisingly familiar faces.

Bloomberg Bankrolls a Social-Media Army to Push Message

Campaign is hiring workers for $2,500 per month to promote Bloomberg to all their contacts

Michael Bloomberg’s presidential campaign is hiring hundreds of workers in California to post regularly on their personal social-media accounts in support of the candidate and send text messages to their friends about him.

The effort, which could cost millions of dollars, is launching ahead of California’s March 3 primary and could later be deployed nationwide, according to people familiar with the matter and documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. It is one of the most unorthodox yet by the heavy-spending billionaire and blurs the lines between traditional campaign organizing and the distribution of sponsored content.

Most campaigns encourage their supporters to post on social media about their candidates, but paying them at this scale to express support on their personal accounts is unusual, experts say.

A California staffer and the documents reviewed by the Journal describe a multimillion-dollar-a-month effort aimed at helping Mr. Bloomberg attract support after having entered the race long after other candidates had built their ground campaigns. The documents also say the campaign is adopting a strategy, which it credits the Trump campaign with using to great effect, to try to influence potential voters through people they know and trust rather than strangers.

Examples of messages that the Bloomberg campaign suggests supporters send to their friends via OutVote, an app the campaign is paying workers to use.

To staff the effort, the campaign is hiring more than 500 “deputy digital organizers” to work 20 to 30 hours a week and receive $2,500 a month, the documents show. In exchange, those workers are expected to promote Mr. Bloomberg to everyone in their phones’ contacts by text each week and make social-media posts supporting him daily, the documents show.

“The Fight for Equal Rights Has Been One of the Great Fights of Mike’s Life,” reads one such suggested prompt regarding Mr. Bloomberg’s early support for same-sex marriage.

Publicly available job applications for those positions require applicants to provide their social-media handles for review and state that staffers may be asked to undertake more traditional field-organizing work like phone banking.

Helping organize the effort is Outvote, an app that enables users to send pre-written texts, post campaign materials to social media and send data back to campaigns. The app, funded by Higher Ground Labs, a Democratic political technology incubator, generally focuses on pushing volunteers to send content. Outvote also allows users to look up whether their friends have voted in past elections by matching their contact lists against public data.

A spokeswoman for the campaign characterized the workers being paid to promote Mr. Bloomberg as the future of political organizing. “We are meeting voters everywhere on any platform that they consume their news,” a spokeswoman for the Bloomberg campaign said. “One of the most effective ways of reaching voters is by activating their friends and network to encourage them to support Mike for president.”

Facebook Inc.’s policies historically have addressed the worlds of political advertising and influencer marketing as separate. The company has only recently begun to grapple with the intersection of the two.

It is not clear if messages like those the Bloomberg campaign is suggesting would need to be labeled as sponsored content under Facebook’s disclosure rules. A Facebook spokeswoman said posts by outside “content creators” would require labels if a campaign paid for them, but that posts by campaign employees wouldn’t need to be labeled as ads. The company didn’t address how it would categorize posts by employees paid to promote content to their personal social networks.

A review of social-media posts by some people being paid by the campaign found they aren’t labeled as sponsored content.

Officials at the U.S. Federal Trade Commissiohave said that merely tagging a brand or business on social media is a form of endorsement that falls under its purview–and should be disclosed if an audience would view an endorsement differently knowing that an influencer had financially benefited from the brand.

How Presidential Debates Transformed Over Time
How Presidential Debates Transformed Over Time
Televised presidential debates have been a mainstay of modern American politics for the past sixty years. In this video, Wall Street Journal Executive Washington Editor Jerry Seib breaks down how they’ve changed over time and what we can expect in 2020. Photo: Elise Amendola/AP

The Bloomberg campaign spokeswoman said that the campaign doesn’t believe posts from its deputy field organizers need to be labeled, describing them as a new form of political organizing rather than paid influencer content.

Political campaigns have long used a combination of volunteers and paid workers to do things like run phone banks and knock on doors to support a candidate. But experts said the Bloomberg campaign’s willingness to pay to leverage supporters’ existing social connections is novel.

James Thurber, professor of government at American University, said groups promoting political issues sometimes use similar strategies of paying people to express support online, but it is unusual from a candidate. “It’s classic AstroTurf tactics,” he said. “When you have unlimited resources the way Bloomberg seems to, you can do that.

The Trump campaign includes staff dedicated to digital and social media, but it doesn’t compensate people to post on their personal social media accounts, a spokeswoman said.

At least until recently, the Bloomberg campaign also planned to recruit another 2,500 campaign “digital organizing fellows” who would be paid $500 a month in exchange for posting daily on social media and putting every person in their contact list into the Bloomberg campaign’s database, according to documents reviewed by the Journal and a deputy organizer who had been told to expect to oversee five of the fellows.

The campaign spokeswoman said that it had decided not to proceed with the “fellows.” She also said the campaign had changed the title of the $2,500-a-month deputy digital roles to “deputy field organizer” to reflect that the role may also include more traditional campaign activities.

Bloomberg’s spending has helped spark a rise in the polls, enabling him to qualify for Wednesday’s Democratic debate.

Though he only declared his candidacy late last year, Mr. Bloomberg has exceeded the advertising spending of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, former Vice President Joe Biden, former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar combined.

The Bloomberg campaign also recently worked with an offshoot of media and marketing company Jerry Media to contract with large meme accounts to push the campaign, the New York Times has reported, leading Facebook last week to clarify its rules around such posts.

The Bloomberg campaign will suggest content for sharing and exert some control over the social-media outreach efforts, according to the documents reviewed by the Journal. Though the Bloomberg campaign won’t have direct access or authority over its organizers’ social-media feeds, a team of quality-control staff will verify that the organizers are posting appropriately.

“Ha! Even Republicans think Mike is our best bet to defeat Trump! Let’s prove them right,” said one suggested message for text or social media, linking to a news article citing conservative political operatives bullish about Mr. Bloomberg’s chances.

The campaign’s approach is fine with at least some unpaid Bloomberg supporters, like Jason Miller.

A rabbi in Michigan who runs a social-media marketing company, Mr. Miller said he believes the former New York mayor is “a mensch” and that his willingness to spend a vast amount on his campaign makes him uniquely suited to beating Donald Trump.

He said he believes it is important to be transparent about paid commercial promotions, but he views the ethics of political activism as less clear.

“With a campaign, there is a gray area,” he said, noting the standard campaign practice of assigning both volunteers and paid staff to phone bank and knock on doors. While it is possible there should be clearer lines drawn in social media, he said, “it took decades for TV and radio to figure out what disclosure for ads should be.”

Donald Trump Did Something Right

As Donald Trump was fighting with Congress over the shutdown and funding for a border wall, his administration implemented a new rule that could be a game-changer for health care.

Starting this month, hospitals must publicly reveal the contents of their master price lists — called “chargemasters” — online. These are the prices that most patients never notice because their insurers negotiate them down or they appear buried as line items on hospital bills. What has long been shrouded in darkness is now being thrown into the light.

For the moment, these lists won’t seem very useful to the average patient — and they have been criticized for that reason. They are often hundreds of pages long, filled with medical codes and abbreviations. Each document is an overwhelming compendium listing a rack rate for every little item a hospital dispenses and every service it performs: A blood test for anemia. The price of lying in the operating suite and recovery room (billed in 15-minute intervals). The scalpel. The drill bit. The bag of IV salt water. The Tylenol pill. No item is too small to be bar coded and charged.

But don’t dismiss the lists as useless. Think of them as raw material to be mined for billing transparency and patient rights. For years, these prices have been a tightly guarded industrial secret. When advocates have tried to wrest them free, hospitals have argued that they are proprietary information. And, hospitals claim, these rates are irrelevant, since — after insurers whittle them down — no one actually pays them.

Of course, the argument is false, and our wallets know it.

First of all, hospitals routinely go after patients without insurance or whose insurer is not in their network. When Wanda Wickizer had a brain hemorrhage in 2013, a Virginia hospital billed her $286,000 after a 20 percent “uninsured” discount on a hospital bill of $357,000 — the list price, according to chargemaster charges. Medicare would have paid less than $100,000 for her treatment.

Second, those list prices form the starting point for negotiations, allowing hospitals and insurers to take credit for beneficence, when there is none.

I recently received an insurance statement for blood tests that were priced at $788.04; my insurer negotiated a “discount” of $725.35, for an agreed upon price of $62.69 “to help save you money.” My insurer’s price was around 8 percent of the charge. Since my 10 percent co-payment amounted to $6.27, my insurer happily informed me, “you saved 99 percent.”

.. Just as airlines have been shown to exaggerate flight times so they can boast about on-time arrivals, hospitals set prices crazy high so they can tout their generous discounts (while insurers tout their negotiating prowess).

Pruitt unveils controversial ‘transparency’ rule limiting what research

Apr 24, 2018 – Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt listens to President … Scott Pruitt moved Tuesday to limit what science can be used in writing … The proposed rule would only allow the EPA to consider studies where the …

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/scientists-favor-transparency-but-say-epa-plan-will-limit-it/

What Facebook Knew and Tried to Hide

Even when the Facebook leaders understood the problem, they tried to hide it.

Right after the election Zuckerburg was dismissive of the idea that Fake News influenced the election.

People within the company thought he was out of touch.

At the time Facebook was under pressure.

Trump had won the election using social media, but Facebook was dismissive.

Facebook employees saw the tip of the iceberg .  They had been following Russian

Mark wanted to find a technical fix.

Sheryl was thinking about the legal risk and was wondering whether they would find out things they didn’t want to know.  Sheryl was thinking about what the consequences would be.

Sheryl yelled at the security team for investigating Russian interference without formal approval.

The leadership was concerned that Washington was controlled by conservatives who would have an adverse reaction to an investigation or efforts to curb this activity.  Conservatives already think Silicon Valley is a bunch of hippies.

There was pressure within Facebook not to publish anything linking activity back to Russia.  Sheryl(?) also signed off on a policy not to take down the Russian troll accounts.

Mark Zuckerburg was traveling the country, milking cows, and acting as though he wanted to run for President.

Sheryl Sandberg was running her own “Lean-In” brand.

Alex Stamos (Security Chief) briefs the audit committee and the board’s response is to yell at Mark(?) and Sheryl(?)

The leadership holds a big meeting and Sheryl yells at Alex Stamos for

  • not briefing her fully
  • admitting that they hadn’t fully got a grip on the situation
  • suggesting that Russia would likely do this again in the future

Alex has gotten in trouble in the past for being too transparent

The Cambridge Analytical Scandal illustrates:

  • The consequences of surveillance capitalism
  • The potential of Facebook to influence elections

Apple CEO Tim Cook castigates Facebook for their business model.

Facebook conducts an advertising campaign and privately goes on attack using the Washington PR opposition research campaign, which uses the NTK network which publishes propaganda.

Confronted with a Propaganda Scandal, they turn to a PR campaign to create their own Propaganda.

Attacks Apple and Tim Cook.  Attack George Soros, arguing the Facebook’s criticism was masterminded by George Soros.  In taking on Soros they are getting into the smear and conspiracy business.

 

Related:

Damage Control at Facebook: 6 Takeaways From The Times’s Investigation