Henry Ross Perot was an American’s American.
He died this week at age 89.
His 1992 and 1996 independent runs for President were a pre-curser for Donald Trump’s win in 2016.
His legacy, however, is embodied in every American who ever took a risk and either succeeded or failed.
Perot was largely successful. He started Electronic Data Systems with $1000 and experience at IBM as a salesman fresh out of the Navy. In 1984, he sold it to General Motors—the least entrepreneurial company in the United States—for $2.5-billion dollars. He got a seat on GM’s board and became its biggest shareholder.
That’s when the fireworks started.
Perot wanted GM to make better cars. He soon found out that GM Chairman Roger Smith regarded EDS as a shiny new thing. “At EDS when we see a snake we kill it. At GM they appoint a committee to study snakes,” was Perot’s comment.
Smith soon had enough and the company coughed up another $750-million to get rid of the Texas provocateur once and for all.
What GM didn’t get was a non-compete agreement. Perot soon started Perot Systems which was bought by Dell in 2009.
One other thing about Perot was important.
Being from Texas, he never lost touch with Middle America. No matter how rich he became, he never stopped being the guy from Texarkana whose Daddy was a cotton trader. He always understood that between the east coast and the west coast was a majority of Americans who worked hard, played by the rules and he had immense respect for us.
I remember meeting with him one day when I owned radio stations in Tulsa and he spent quite a bit of time quizzing me about the radio business. He was interested in just about everything.
What he never appeared to be much interested in was his legacy.
His legacy will be huge because he lived a huge life well.
His last, most Perot-like quote was this:
“Texas born, Texas bred and when I die I’ll be Texas dead.”
If God, ever needs a Texas poet-laureate, He won’t have to look far.
George W. Bush may well go down as one of the most decent human beings ever to serve as President, so it is not surprising that he hasn’t said anything negative about Chief Justice John Roberts.
But, after Roberts twisted himself into a legal pretzel first to uphold Obamacare and most recently to try and deny the Trump administration its absolute right to ask a question about citizenship on the 2020 census, you have to wonder what W might be quietly thinking.
Dwight Eisenhower had this to say about his appointment of former Chief Justice Earl Warren, “The biggest damn fool mistake I ever made.”
Harry Truman appointed Tom C. Clark to the Court. “It isn’t so much that he’s a bad man, it’s just that he’s such a dumb son of a bitch.”
Roberts needs to stop worrying about his legacy and just pay attention to the damn law.
From a purely practical standpoint, you do not need a JD from Harvard to know that any administration can add a question about citizenship to the decennial census without the Court’s blessing. The constitution mandates the count, it is used to apportion congressional districts and only citizens can vote.
Even though the left has its collective panties in a twist over the current President and his attitude towards illegal aliens the constitution has not changed.
To suggest that the Secretary of Commerce’s “rationale” for adding a question which has appeared on every census until 1950 is just silly. A more pertinent issue for the Court is why the question has NOT included since then.
On what planet is a government not allowed to count residents by citizenship?
The problem Roberts has is that he seems to think his role as Chief Justice comes with a commission to be loved by both sides of any issue.
That is clearly at odds with what he told the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2005 at his confirmation hearing.
"Judges and justices are servants of the law, not the other way around. Judges are like umpires. Umpires don’t make the rules; they apply them. The role of an umpire and a judge is critical. They make sure everybody plays by the rules. But it is a limited role. Nobody ever went to a ball game to see the umpire."
Apparently Roberts has evolved in his role as an umpire.
His vote on the census question wasn’t a ball or a strike. If anything, it was a foul ball with two strikes. That is, nothing. Another pitch. But baseball doesn’t have a clock to run out and Roberts knew damn well that the census has a clock.
Roberts’ call was more like the referee in that game seven of the 2019 Vegas Golden Knights vs. the San Jose Sharks series which changed the direction of that game and caused the National Hockey League Board of Governors to actually change the rule in the off season.
And it may well be that George W. Bush’s “biggest damn fool mistake” will turn out to be John Roberts.
Fortunately, this President appears up to the challenge and he is looking for a way around the ridicules ruling the court made.
Which might mean Roberts will get this issue jammed up where his moon doesn’t shine very shortly.
Watching him twist and turn will be like watching a Christian Scientist with appendicitis.
As August approaches, the CDC is asking health care professionals to be on the lookout and report any suspected cases of AFM (Acute Flaccid Myelitis), a paralyzing illness resembling polio, as cases may peak during this time.
Last year a total of 233 cases were confirmed in 41 states. This year 11 have been reported and an additional 57 cases are being investigated. Cases have been reported in California, Maryland, Nebraska, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah and West Virginia this year.
IMAGE ABOVE FROM CDC
Last year, California, Colorado and Texas appeared to be the worst hit with 15, 16 and 31 cases respectively. Experts are urging states to report any cases of suspected AFM as the above map could be an under-representation of true numbers.
On their website, the CDC reports the following:
The “48 states” refers to cases since 2014. 90% of the cases occurred in children under the age of 4.
The age range of children affected appear to be 3-14. A 6-year-old boy in Washington State died in 2016 and was the first death to be linked to this mysterious illness. His parents reported he had felt ill, became dizzy and within hours suffered swelling in the brain and paralysis. Despite medical efforts, he passed.
In 2018 parents of two children who died from AFM accused the CDC of hiding their deaths.
Although the exact cause of AFM is unknown, health experts are considering a variety of possibilities. They have actually been investigating this since 2014 when reports of AFM began to surface across the United States.
AFM stands for Acute Flaccid Myelitis. It’s a condition that occurs suddenly, causing inflammation of the brain and spinal cord, causing loss of muscle tone and reflexes. Although limb weakness is the primary symptom, patients could also exhibit slurred speech, facial drooping, and in serious cases inability to breath due to paralysis of the respiratory muscles. Mild cases appear to resolve but serious cases can cause residual paralysis or death. Children appear to be more affected than adults.
Although health officials do not know for certain, due to its rapid onset, a pathogen such as a virus seems highly likely. With the 2013-2014 outbreak, some of the cases tested positive for enterovirus (EV-D68), but it is not conclusive whether this was the exact cause or just coincidentally found in the patients tested.
Some postulate a combination of viruses may be a factor or an autoimmune disease. Although Guillain-Barre syndrome causes acute limb weakness and paralysis when the immune system begins attacking the nervous system, the report that many individuals feel feverish or ill prior, seem to point to a pathogen as the primary cause although the latter is not being ruled out. Virus families such as enterovirus (including polio and nonpolio enterovirus), adenovirus (causing respiratory and GI illness) cocksackieviruses and flaviviruses (including West Nile) have been suspected.
Per the CDC, acute flaccid myelitis is rare (less than 1 in a million cases) however currently they report 570 cases have been confirmed since the outbreak began in August 2014.
Medical professionals look at a variety of factors.
Medical professionals look at a variety of factors.
History: how the paralysis/loss of muscle tone began and which limbs did it affect first
Laboratory tests and CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) testing: to look for signs of infection
MRI of the brain: which may show gray matter involvement in a case of AFM.
There is no standard treatment that has been proven effective, however depending on the severity of the symptoms, health professionals can consider a variety of options including steroids, IVIG, interferon, antivirals and supportive measures. Some physicians are using “nerve transfers”, similar to a transplant, to help children regain control of their limbs.
No. Until they can identify the exact cause, or causes, health officials cannot create a vaccine.
If we assume it’s a pathogen causing the illness, avoiding contact with sick individuals, being up-to-date on one’s vaccines and good hand-washing are imperative. Although we do not know if AFM is caused by a mosquito-born illness, avoiding mosquitoes would be wise as well. More therefore needs to be researched to determine why and how those individuals with AFM were infected.