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Obama’s Anti-Gun Surgeon General Choice Has Some Questionable Credentials

REUTERS/Jason Reed

Half of the specialists at Obama Surgeon General pick’s own hospital finished residency before him

The Daily CallerPatrick Howley reports: President Obama’s pick to become the next U.S. Surgeon General might have to explain his credentials a bit. Half of the doctors who work in his specialty at his own hospital finished residency before him.

Dr. Vivek Murthy, 36, was nominated by President Obama for the Surgeon General post last November, but Democrats are backing off from his nomination reportedly due to his well-documented anti-gun advocacy. But his relative lack of medical experience might also come up in a confirmation hearing.

Murthy is listed as a Hospitalist and Hospitalist Service specialist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, having completed his residency in internal medicine there in 2006. Of the 42 listed Hospitalist Service specialists at Brigham and Women’s, 21 doctors finished residency before Murthy. Read the rest of this entry »

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White House Backs off Anti-Gun Activist Surgeon General Nominee Push Amid Backlash From…Democrats

Dr. Vivek Murthy outside the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.REUTERS

Anti-gun Activist Dr. Vivek Murthy outside the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.REUTERS

With the midterm elections looming, vulnerable Democrats may be moving even further from the White House by refusing to support yet another of President Obama’s hand-picked nominees.

The latest nominee facing trouble with Senate confirmation is Dr. Vivek Murthy, a Harvard Medical School physician and a strong political ally, tapped for the post of U.S. surgeon general.

“While the Senate has not yet scheduled a vote on Dr. Murthy, I have already told the White House I will very likely vote no on his nomination if it comes to the floor.”

— Sen. Mark Begich

The White House is still backing its controversial nominee but acknowledges that officials are “recalibrating” their strategy — amid vocal GOP opposition, waning support from Senate Democrats and concern about back-to-back defeats. Earlier this month, the administration failed to win Senate support for its nominee to lead the Justice Department’s civil rights division, Debo Adegbile.

Begich has also expressed concerns about the 36-year-old Murthy’s political advocacy and inexperience as a practicing physician.

Like Adegbile, Murthy is facing strong opposition on several fronts. The nominee is being targeted by the National Rifle Association for his support for gun control. Such opposition has created a tough situation for Senate Democrats facing re-election a year after the NRA led efforts to defeat Obama’s push for new firearms restrictions.

As a result, the White House doesn’t want to create more problems for vulnerable Democrats by asking them to take a hard vote now.

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Democrats Lining Up to Oppose Obamas Anti-Gun Nominee For Surgeon General

anti-gun-candidate

Katie Pavlich writes: President Obama’s anti-gun nominee for Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Hallegere Murthy, could go down in flames on the Senate floor. Murthy, who has a history of calling guns a “healthcare issue,” classifying guns as a “public health threat” and of slamming the National Rifle Association, is being opposed not by just Republicans, but numerous Democrats in an election year.

[See Emily Miller: Obama’s Surgeon General Nominee Dr. Vivek Murthy is a Radical Gun Grabber]

[Don’t miss our Exclusive: Interview with Obama’s Surgeon General Nominee Dr. Vivek Murthy]

Democratic Senate aides estimated on Monday that from eight to 10 Democrats may oppose Murthy’s nomination if the vote were to be held soon, mostly because of his left-leaning views on gun policy, which have attracted opposition from the National Rifle Association.

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A Valentine From the Swamplands

Punditfromanotherplanet’s fictional interview with Dr. Vivek Hallegere Murthy has been a popular item, thanks to the many good-humored readers who visit our site. Though, there’s always the occasional unhappy customer.

mad-little-baby

In a spirited discussion at another blog, Richard Rowe maintains that Dr. Vivek Murthy never said he promoted a gun ban, never said he wants to ban guns. And anyone who says otherwise–including conservative bloggers, but primarily Fox News–is a liar.

So this post is about Dr. Murthy’s controversial gun-control agenda, a discussion about fact vs. fiction in public policy debates, and a discussion about guns in general.

The disgruntled message comes from the founder of a site called “Americans Against the Tea Party“. Blogger and self-proclaimed official professional journalist (his bio says he’s written over 3 million words!) Rowe responded to my comment on his blog. I left a nutty comment on a nutty left-wing site, what did I expect? Flowers and candy? …where I eagerly expressed my (tongue-in-cheek) support for Dr. Vivek Murthy‘s candidacy for Surgeon General. Needless to say, my comments were unwelcome. Rowe followed the link back to this site, where he read the fictional interview with Dr. Murthy, and was totally not amused. It really, really displeased him. Though Mr. Rowe doesn’t share our political point of view, or appreciate our humor, he engaged in a friendly discussion, graciously taking the time to write a thoughtful, good-humored comment, in response to mine.

Nah, just kidding. His message is a typical left-wing cuckoo-bananas temper tantrum. A threatening, insulting, vindictive, chunk-blowing rant. But I liked his message anyway, and welcome the opportunity to set the record straight. I enjoyed his commentary, and would like to share some of his comments with our readers.

vomit

Richard Rowe – March 11, 2014 at 5:27 am @ The Butcher: Oh, that is so CUTE! The anonymous blogger with a WordPress site who won’t even sign his work with his real name made a funny! I just read your “exclusive interview” with Murthy…just out of curiosity, do you have any evidence at all that you actually conducted this interview? Or did it come out of the same hole that the rest of your posts obviously do? Because I followed all the links you posted in your “interview,” and all I see is a paraphrasing of an editorial by Manny Alvarez on Fox “News.” I understand, though…it can be hard to get interviews when you won’t tell the person you’re interviewing your real name. But, if you DID get that interview…did Murthy by any chance, at any point say he wants to ban guns? Because I can’t find a single instance of him referring to a gun ban, except on right-wing websites (like yours) that never directly quote him saying so. Shame THEY couldn’t get that “exclusive interview,” huh?

Leaving aside the interview comments — obviously satire — let me address the question: “by any chance, at any point, did [Dr. Murthy] say he wants to ban guns?”

Yes, Dr. Murthy is on record advocating a proposal to ban guns.

This doesn’t come from my interview (fictional) it doesn’t come from any interview, and it’s not in the form of a quote, captured by a reporter, then published in print or online. It comes directly from Dr. Murthy’s organization, Doctors for America.

Specifically, it was a call to ban “assault weapons” and “military style” weapons, as well as an “aggressive buy-back” program to collect these types of guns. Along with other gun-control measures. The critics are correct, Dr. Murthy wants the guns. To his admirers, his gun-control activism is one of his public-service achievements. To his opponents, it makes him a target for criticism.

However, no, there’s no evidence I’m aware of that Dr. Vivek Murthy wants to ban guns, if that means “ban all guns“. (though to be fair, no one claims it was suggested by anyone in the first place) Dr. Murthy’s record, along with his colleagues, of advocating a federal gun ban is well-documented.

This is mainly a disagreement between Rowe, somebody at Fox News, and maybe some other conservative bloggers, not really with me.

But I thought it was odd that Rowe jumps to the conclusion that Murthy’s critics in the media are all “liars”. Why not just check the facts? Instead of making false accusations in bold, inaccurate headlines? Or picking fights with annoying humorists? The people that Rowe takes issue with aren’t likely to simply invent a story that Dr. Murthy wants to ban guns, if he didn’t want to ban guns. It’s too easy to prove, or disprove. If  a guy like me found conclusive evidence in about 30 seconds, we can imagine other bloggers, reporters, and media people did, too. The information is readily available.

Imagine what could be found if someone spent several days on it? We can be sure some bright-eyed researchers at the NRA have accumulated more than 30-seconds worth. I’m fairly certain what I found represents but a minor part of Dr. Murthy’s gun-control resume.

To summarize: Dr.Vivek Murthy signed an Op-Edadvocating, among other gun-control measures, a federal gun ban. In fact, the organization that Dr. Vivek Murthy founded sent a letter to Congress advocating a federal gun ban, among other gun-control measures, and a letter to Vice President Biden, advocating a federal gun ban. The gun-banning advocacy, targeting “assault weapons”, has Dr. Murthy’s seal of approval, on the site of the organization he founded, Doctors for America. So the short answer is yes, Dr. Murthy is on the record advocating a gun ban.

Here’s the relevant text:

“We want doctors to be able to ask, document and counsel patients on gun safety in their homes. This alone is not enough. We want to see a ban on assault weapons and an aggressive buy-back program for military-style weapons that are currently in circulation.”

There’s that one word, that’s a dead giveaway: Ban. Rowe couldn’t find any instance, except on “right-wing” websites like mine? Rowe should have checked Dr. Murtha’s website. This might explain why journalists, bloggers, and opinionated network news commentators are saying Dr. Murthy is in favor of banning guns. Because, well, he is in favor of banning guns. He certainly was at the time he and his colleagues sent letters to Washington D.C., laying out their proposal, calling for action.

Now that we’ve cleared that up, here’s my suggestion for a revised headline:

Fox News Reports the Facts AGAIN! Says Obama Surgeon General Appointee Wants to Ban Guns

If journalistic integrity is important to Rowe, he might consider a revision. Not my headline suggestion, of course. But something that isn’t obviously false. Unless his readers know that it wasn’t meant to be factual, but a customary example of hyperbole, or inside-joke, anti-Fox overstatement. In which case, I approve!

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