Chess is the ultimate game of strategy and tactics. Winning requires players to look well beyond the board in front of them, instead looking several moves ahead, anticipating their opponent’s actions and reactions. Politics is much the same, particularly the presidential nomination process where the chessboard is the entire country and the pieces represent not only the candidates, but also the political parties, organizations, and media.
Brian Joondeph | All Articles
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Brian C Joondeph, MD, MPS is a Denver based retina surgeon, working both in private practice and academics, including several years in another country with nationalized healthcare. He is a recent graduate of a master's degree program in healthcare leadership from the University of Denver, and an advocate for smaller, more efficient government.
Joondeph has practiced for 23 years as a retina surgeon, working both in private practice and academics, including several years in another country with nationalized health care.
When the Founding Fathers created the Bill of Rights, there was no caveat for selectively applying these rights based on political bent. Instead these rights apply to everyone regardless of where they sit on the political spectrum. For a quick review, here is the First Amendment.
Custer’s last stand, also known as the Battle of the Little Bighorn, was an epic battle between several Indian tribes and the U.S. Army well over a hundred years ago. Another battle is shaping up in the U.S. Senate, but instead of Commander George Custer we have Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell trying to hold off the pesky rebels.
Obamacare’s third open enrollment season started November 1. Will the third time be the charm? Or will it be three strikes and you’re out? Based on enrollment troubles, the latter is more likely. But striking out doesn’t mean Obamacare will go away. Like presidential candidates polling in the low single digits, they hang in there until the money finally runs out. Perhaps Obamacare will play out the same way.
Colorado took a brave, or perhaps foolish depending on your perspective, leap forward by legalizing recreational marijuana a few years ago. For the state’s encore, it may take a stab at a single-payer healthcare plan. Proponents of ColoradoCare collected 156,000 signatures, well in excess of what’s needed to create a ballot initiative for November 2016.
Gun control is back in the news after the recent Oregon college shooting with President Obama considering executive action on gun background checks. Predictably the President is pushing what he describes as “common sense” laws, although without specifically saying what such laws would be. The premise of the left is that there are too many guns out there and more guns means more mass shootings.
Daraprim is a drug no one ever heard of. Unless you happen to suffer from a parasitic infection called toxoplasmosis and also have a compromised immune system or suffer from AIDS. It’s been around since 1953 and due to limited demand it’s an orphan drug. Selling for about $13 per tablet, a course of therapy for three weeks is about $300, much of the cost covered by insurance. Ho hum.
Syrian refugees are pouring into Europe and the United States is poised to take at least 10,000 of them. Not to be outdone, Germany wants to take 800,000 refugees. What a compassionate gesture toward fellow human beings whose lives are disrupted by civil war and chaos in their home countries.
Climate change, previously known as global warming, is a national security issue according to President Obama. This was the message he delivered to recent U.S. Coast Guard Academy graduates. Funny, but when I think of national security issues other things come to mind, such as the rise of ISIS, cyber hacking by the Russians and Chinese, nukes in “Death to America” Iran, or our open borders.
The Republican establishment is playing a dangerous game going after Donald Trump. This includes Fox News, which is quite centrist, but is said to be sympathetic to the Republican establishment. This establishment wants a party nominee who will go along to get along, reach across the aisle, build consensus, and keep the Chamber of Commerce happy. This is a proven model for electoral success. Just ask former Presidents Dole, McCain, and Romney.
Tom Brady’s four-game suspension has been upheld by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Brady’s punishment is “for violating the league’s policy on integrity of the game,” according to Mr. Goodell. C.S. Lewis described integrity as, “Doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.” Which is at the heart of the matter for Tom Brady. His footballs were deflated while no one was watching. What did Brady know and when did he know it?
Anyone who has watched at least five minutes of national news this past weekend heard about Donald Trump criticizing John McCain. Trump, critical of McCain’s lack of efforts on veterans’ affairs, declared, “He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.” The outrage has been fast and furious, from the left and the right.
Bridge is a popular card game, not so much for Millennials who prefer Candy Crush, but for their parents and grandparents. It has two main parts, bidding and play. Bidding is a process of deciding what you can do with the cards you have been dealt. Play is where you actually do what you bid.
Ask any physician who has been sued for medical malpractice how their behavior changed as a result of the lawsuit. Most go on defense, ordering more tests, explaining and documenting all risks no matter how remote or irrelevant they are, or avoiding difficult patients. This is called “defensive medicine," a process undertaken “to avoid liability rather than to benefit the patient.” Defensive medicine increases the cost of healthcare and also exposes patients to added risk due to the unnecessary tests and procedures themselves.
Los Angeles is the latest city to increase its minimum wage. The city council voted an increase from $9 an hour currently to $15 an hour in 2020. LA joined other west coast cities, San Francisco and Seattle, in increasing the wages of workers on the low end of the pay scale.
Gang violence in Denver is on the rise. Only 4 months into the year, the city is on track for its most violent year since 2010 according to the Denver Post. As of this week, 120 people have been injured in 61 gang-related assaults. With an average 150 annual gang-related assaults occurring yearly over the past five years, 2015 is shaping up to be a banner year.
A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens’ classic novel, depicts oppression of the peasantry by the aristocracy in the 18th century. Flash forward to the 21st century with a modern day version of Dickens’ work, substituting American Christians for peasants and secular liberal elites for the aristocracy. Rather than comparing two cities, London and Paris, let’s compare two bakeries, both in Colorado.
Minimum wage supporters would be smart to think about the concept of karma, the Buddhist concept of moral causation – the idea that nothing happens to a person that he doesn’t deserve. In other words, we are architects of our own fate.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Director Gina McCarthy attended the Winter X-Games in Aspen, Colorado last week. No she wasn’t in the half pipe competition, but instead was in Aspen, “To meet with some of our country’s top pro snowboarders and the businesses that support them to hear how they are taking action on climate.” In a blog post on the EPA website this week, she wondered “if there’s going to be enough snow for some of their biggest competitions.”