Day: June 10, 2017

Georgia GOP candidate poses with controversial militia at anti-Sharia rally – Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)

Politics

Georgia GOP candidate poses with controversial militia at anti-Sharia rally – Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)

Michael Williams posing with members of the Georgia Security Force III% militia. Twitter.

A Republican candidate for Georgia governor is facing a wave of criticism for posing with a militia group after a Saturday rally protesting Islamic law.

State Sen. Michael Williams posed with members of the Georgia Security Force III% militia after the Piedmont Park event, where he urged voters to “unite” against Shariah law.

The photograph triggered a torrent of tweets, many of them questioning whether members of the group were flashing a white supremacist sign. Others said the three-finger symbol was the sign of the militia, which holds that only 3 percent of colonists fought in the Revolutionary War.

Williams, a Cumming entrepreneur, formally entered the governor’s race earlier this month on a pro-Trump platform that includes a promise to expand gun rights. His spokesman Seth Weathers said the militia’s members asked for a picture after his remarks, and he agreed because they looked like “pro-gun supporters.”

“We don’t know about the supposed symbolism, only that a bunch of liberal hate groups were online tweeting about it,” said Weathers. “This is the stupidest thing in the world – that we are debating whether grown men were supposedly holding their fingers the wrong way during a photo.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center and other groups tweeted pictures of Williams with the members of the militia, whose leader Chris Hill sought to block construction of a mosque in Newton County last year. They quickly attracted hundreds of retweets and comments.

The rally was part of a string of nationwide protests against Shariah law organized by ACT for America, which calls Islamic tenets incompatible with Western democracy. The Southern Poverty Law Center defines the organization as an anti-Muslim hate group.

The militia, which trains in the north Georgia woods, has received a sweep of attention for involvement in protests against the mosque and in support of the Confederate battle flag. The New York Times in 2016 quoted Mark Pitcavage of the Anti-Defamation League saying the militia is notable for its acute Islamophobia.




Technology startup to collaborate with Mayo Clinic – Post-Bulletin

Technology

Technology startup to collaborate with Mayo Clinic – Post-Bulletin

Mayo Clinic is joining forces with a Pittsburgh, Pa.-based technology startup to “cross-pollinate” patient’s medical records with “actionable” genomic information.

The company called 2bPrecise is collaborating to incorporate Mayo Clinic protocols in its cloud-based platform to merge genomic information with electronic medical records. It’s also licensing technology from Mayo Clinic.

It’s a wholly owned subsidiary of Chicago’s Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, Inc. and has about 25 employees on staff.

Mayo Clinic relationship with 2bPrecise is based around research at this point, though it could evolve into clinical use, said founder and CEO Assaf Halevy. Less than 2 years old, 2bPrecise is already being used by early adopters for clinical and research uses.

“Mayo Clinic has a very robust genomics research discipline,” Halevy said in announcement of the new project this week. “The wealth of both genetic research and clinical data within the clinic is staggering.”

The initial focus of the collaboration will be on genetic cardiovascular disease, specifically something called familial hypercholesterolemia. The teams will attempt to merge Mayo’s FH algorithm into 2bPrecise’s platform, so researchers can test and validate new protocols.

The overall goal of 2bPrecise’s system is make it simple for physicians and researchers to use patient’s genomic information, when making diagnosis and treatment decisions.

“We’ve been working with Mayo for a while to set this set up,” Halevy said this week. “Mayo Clinic will bring the clinical know-how and we’ll be the technology enabler.”

He explained while genomic information offers the power to make medicine more precise, it still is not simple for the average physician to access in a useful way on a daily basis.

“There are a few challenges,” he said.

• Which genomic test will help a patient?

• How can a physician interpret a separate 60 page, unstructured genomics report?

• How can a health care professional translate the complex genomic language into practical clinical terms that can be used in context of the patient?

• How can an overworked physician with limited time thoroughly mesh the genomic data with a patient’s overall condition?

Halevy says 2bPrecise’s platform was created as an answer to those questions.

“It’s a very smart, clean smooth way … of cross-pollinating (genomic information) with clinical info into a harmonized model within an EHR,” he explained.

Mayo Clinic is in the midst of a $1 billion switch to Epic Systems’ health records format. Halevy said that would not be an obstacle to 2bPrecise.

“The plan and the technology is capable of working with solutions, such as Epic and other EHRs,” he said.

While the cloud-based nature of 2bPrecise’s platform allows for a lot of the collaboration to be done remotely, some of Halevy’s team will spend some time on site in Rochester for this project.

Could this interaction eventually evolve into a 2bPrecise office in Rochester? He cautioned that it’s very early to speculate about that.

However, “2bPrecise’s culture and DNA as a company, if you will, is to work really close with our partners and early adopters. We’d definitely consider that a potential option.”

Other companies are working on ways to incorporate genomic data with EHRs as health care adopts more and more technological tools to aid in daily patient care. However, Halevy believes his firm is at the forefront of the pack in developing the best solution.

“What we are hoping to achieve is to be a dominate leader in enabling precision medicine and the way we, as consumers, are being diagnosed and later treated in much more intelligent, predictive way than today,” he said.

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How Have Your Politics and Religion Mixed in Unexpected Ways? – New York Times

Politics

How Have Your Politics and Religion Mixed in Unexpected Ways? – New York Times

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New York Times
How Have Your Politics and Religion Mixed in Unexpected Ways?
New York Times
Regardless of where you fall on the ideological spectrum, we would like to know more about how your religious beliefs have affected your political views and actions — or vice versa — in unexpected ways. A Times journalist may follow up with you to

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McConnell Basks in GOP Victory on Courts – Roll Call – Roll Call

Politics

McConnell Basks in GOP Victory on Courts – Roll Call – Roll Call

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell flashes a thumbs up on April 6 after the Senate invoked the so-called nuclear option that allowed Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch to be confirmed by a simple majority vote. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

–>

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Friday that the current vacancies in the U.S. court system will allow President Donald Trump to have the longest impact on the future of the country and vowed to continue to push through his nominees, regardless of any opposition from Democrats.

The comments delivered to the Faith and Freedom Coalition at its conference in Washington are likely to rile Democrats, who blasted the Kentucky Republican last year for refusing to allow even a single hearing for Judge Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court vacancy created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

For years when his party was in the minority, McConnell employed the procedural speed bumps at his disposal to slow the flow of Obama’s nominations to the federal court system. When Republicans claimed the majority after the 2014 elections, the flow slowed to a trickle, and the majority leader left dozens of nominees to linger, including Garland.

“The courts — of all the things that we should be able to accomplish with this president and this Senate — the courts have the longest reach into the future,” McConnell said. “We have a significant number of vacancies coming into this administration. The president knows this is a way to have an impact on our country far beyond his tenure in office.”

McConnell recognized the nomination process would be a “tough battle” amid what he called “blind obstruction” by the minority party. 

“The left is on war-footing for just about everything these days and that includes the lower courts,” he said. “They are doing everything they can to tie the Senate in knots. They are forcing procedural hurdles on just about everything.”

Trump on Wednesday sent up a slate of federal court nominations and McConnell said they would give each one a “fair hearing and vote.” Those nominations follow the Senate confirmation of Amul R. Thapar of Kentucky last month to serve as a circuit court judge.

McConnell spoke about the appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, a common talking point by several political figures at the three-day conference held by the evangelical Christian organization.

In order to push that nomination through, McConnell altered the Senate rules to allow Gorsuch’s confirmation to pass with only a simple majority vote, building upon a change Democrats made in prior years to allow lower court appointments to pass under the same threshold.

He recalled a conversation he had with Gorsuch following his confirmation, during which the new Supreme Court associate justice said he hoped to serve for 20 to 25 years.

“What we had in mind was a lot longer tenure than 20 or 25 years,” McConnell told Gorsuch and said to “think Strom Thurmond” who left the Senate at the age of 100. Thurmond was in fragile health the last several years of his tenure. 

McConnell also touched upon First Amendment rights, an issue he has long championed — largely in the context of campaign finance — and a major topic discussed in his 2016 political memoir titled “The Long Game.”

He said, starting next week, he would launch “a series of speeches in defense of the First Amendment.”

“This conversation will focus on both the contemporary and historical importance of free speech,” McConnell told the conference. “It will encourage Americans to rally in its defense. I hope others join me in the effort.”

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5 Ways Marketers Can Take Advantage of Drone Technology – Forbes

Technology

5 Ways Marketers Can Take Advantage of Drone Technology – Forbes

Many in GOP Unshaken by Comey's Testimony Against Trump – U.S. News & World Report

Politics

Many in GOP Unshaken by Comey's Testimony Against Trump – U.S. News & World Report

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U.S. News & World Report
Many in GOP Unshaken by Comey's Testimony Against Trump
U.S. News & World Report
Republicans on Capitol Hill push ahead with their legislative and political agenda largely unconcerned with former FBI Director James Comey's testimony Thursday about President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) The Associated Press.
For Now, GOP Senators Stick With TrumpRealClearPolitics
Republicans' Terrible Argument: Trump's Too 'New' to Obstruct JusticeRollingStone.com
Analysis: What would it take for GOP base to stop trusting Trump?Philly.com
HuffPost -The Detroit News -Charlotte Observer
all 13,019 news articles »

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