Daughter of Rep. Jamie @HerreraBeutler may be the first to survive Potter’s Syndrome

Rep. Herrera-Beutler’s little miracle continues to defy the odds. Via Fox News:

Doctors believe baby Abigail Beutler, the daughter of U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera-Beutler and her husband, Dan, may be the first baby ever to survive Potter’s Syndrome, a prenatal condition affecting the development of a baby’s lungs.

The Republican congresswoman from Washington was five months pregnant when she found out that her baby had no kidneys, and therefore was producing no fetal urine.  Doctors say that leads to little-or-no amniotic fluid, which ultimately prevents the lungs from developing.

[…]

Refusing to give up on their daughter, the Beutlers found a doctor at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Md. who was willing to try an experimental treatment that could potentially save Abigail’s life.

The doctor injected multiple doses of a saline solution into the congresswoman’s abdomen to try to create enough fluid for the lungs to develop.  The couple then waited to see if the treatment would work – and miraculously, Abigail was born on July 15th.

“When she came out and everybody was quiet, I think … a lot of these medical professionals were prepared for the worst. And she looked at us, and she cried, which means her lungs were functioning,” said Congresswoman Herrera-Beutler.  “I think that cry kind of startled everybody in the room.”

Doctors at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in California, where Abigail is currently being treated, say her weight has doubled since she was born, and she has “excellent lung function.”

According to Dr. Steven Alexander, a pediatric kidney specialist at Lucile Packard, Abigail will be on dialysis until she can get a kidney transplant in about a year or so, but he is confident about her prognosis.

“The kidney transplant success rate now is so good that we would predict a full adult life for her,” Alexander said.

Please continue to keep this family – especially baby Abigail Rose – in your thoughts and prayers.  Not only could the experimental treatment used on her prove ultimately successful in her case, but it could potentially be life-saving for other unborn children in the future as well.  May God continue to bless her!

Beutler Family

”She is every bit a miracle,” said Rep. Herrera-Beutler
at Abigail Rose’s birth. Indeed.
(Photo courtesy of Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital)

Cross-posted to Gateway Pundit.

Prayers for Rep. Jamie @HerreraBeutler & preemie miracle Abigail Rose!

And dad Daniel Beutler, of course. What an amazing story!! Grab the Kleenex:

In an astonishing turnaround, Rep. Jamie Herrera Beutler — who just weeks ago learned that her unborn child was suffering a lung-development condition that’s typically fatal at birth — announced Monday that her daughter was born alive and continues to thrive two weeks later.

[…]

Abigail Rose Beutler was born 12 weeks premature on July 15, at two pounds and 12 ounces. She has no kidneys and has been undergoing dialysis at a hospital in California, the congresswoman wrote in a Facebook post.

But thanks to a “simple but unproven treatment” at Johns Hopkins Hospital involving in utero saline injections, the baby’s lungs developed well beyond what doctors expect for a child with the ailment known as Potter’s sequence — and today she is breathing on her own, her parents said.

[…]

Babies who don’t develop kidneys — a condition called bilateral renal agenesis — are unable to produce urine in the womb. Since their own urine contributes to the amniotic fluid that surrounds them and helps them develop, those who lack it often have misshapen features and their lungs fail to grow. At birth, they are unable to breath and quickly suffocate.

Herrera Beutler had already heard discouraging opinions from two separate doctors before she went to Hopkins. At the Baltimore hospital, [perinatologist Jessica] Bienstock injected her uterus with saline to confirm the diagnosis with an ultrasound. What she saw what looked like a textbook case of BRA-caused Potter’s sequence, according to a statement from the hospital — no kidneys, a deformed head and chest.

But at another checkup a week later, that diagnostic saline seemed to be having a beneficial effect — the baby was developing better and moving around — and Bienstock repeated the treatment.

God bless John Hopkins’. They do such amazing work!  Read the full Facebook post from the Beutler family where they share more details of Abigail’s miraculous birth.

Please remember this family in your thoughts and prayers, especially little Abigail.  Assuming all continues to go well, she will have a tough road ahead, which includes continued dialysis and eventually needing kidney transplants.   May God continue to surround her and her family in comfort and peace as Abigail begins her journey to what will hopefully be a long, fulfilling, happy life.

Beutler Family

”She is every bit a miracle,” said Rep. Beutler. Indeed.
(Photo courtesy of Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital)

Glorious Irony: Half of Obamacare employees at call center will get no health care

**Posted by Phineas

Because –I bet you can guess– they’re being hired part-time:

Earlier this year, Contra Costa County won the right to run a health care call center, where workers will answer questions to help implement the president’s Affordable Care Act. Area politicians called the 200-plus jobs it would bring to the region an economic coup.

Now, with two months to go before the Concord operation opens to serve the public, information has surfaced that about half the jobs are part-time, with no health benefits — a stinging disappointment to workers and local politicians who believed the positions would be full-time.

The Contra Costa County supervisor whose district includes the call center called the whole hiring process — which attracted about 7,000 applicants — a “comedy of errors.”

Read on for a tale of bungling and incompetence — at least on the part of Contra Costa authorities who couldn’t realized this very thing could happen, since Obamacare gives employers every incentive to go part-time.

And for those employees angry that they’ve been misled, what did you expect from an Obama administration project? Competence? Please.

This is yet more proof that the universe has a sense of humor. Bitter, dark, and cruel, but a sense of humor nonetheless.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Mexican Marines capture Los Zetas chief

**Posted by Phineas

Wow. This is huge news:

One of Mexico’s most wanted drug lords has been captured: Miguel Angel Trevino Morales, also known as “Z-40.”

Trevino Morales, leader of the brutal Los Zetas cartel, was caught Sunday by Mexico Marines in his hometown of Nuevo Laredo, just over the U.S. border, CBS News has learned.

The U.S. State Department had offered a $5 million reward for Trevino Morales.

The Zetas cartel is among Mexico’s most violent drug organizations, notorious for civilian killings and beheadings. Is leaders ordered the killing of 72 undocumented immigrants in 2010 in what is known as the San Fernando massacre. More recently in May, the Mexican army said their leaders ordered underlings to leave 49 mutilated bodies in a northern Mexico town square.

The Mexican drug cartels are a nasty bunch, but the Zetas are the worst of the worst. Founded by former Mexican Special Forces members who first worked as soldiers for the cartels before striking out on their own, they’ve been called the Mexico’s most dangerous drug cartel. Beheadings, bombings, massacres, terrorism… You name it, they’ve been in on it. “Well done” to the Mexican military; this is quite a take-down, and I hope this leads to information that allows the Mexican and US governments to roll up Los Zetas on both sides of the border.

Maybe we’ll even finally see justice for David Hartley, who was murdered at Falcon Lake, and some peace for his widow.

UPDATE: Fixed the headline to give proper credit to the Mexican Marines. Sorry, guys.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

My heart bleeds for Big Labor. Really, it does.

**Posted by Phineas

It’s just that you can’t see that through all my laughing and pointing:

Like millions of other Americans, our members are front-line workers in the American economy. We have been strong supporters of the notion that all Americans should have access to quality, affordable health care. We have also been strong supporters of you. In campaign after campaign we have put boots on the ground, gone door-to-door to get out the vote, run phone banks and raised money to secure this vision.

Now this vision has come back to haunt us.

Since the ACA was enacted, we have been bringing our deep concerns to the Administration, seeking reasonable regulatory interpretations to the statute that would help prevent the destruction of non-profit health plans. As you both know first-hand, our persuasive arguments have been disregarded and met with a stone wall by the White House and the pertinent agencies. This is especially stinging because other stakeholders have repeatedly received successful interpretations for their respective grievances. Most disconcerting of course is last week’s huge accommodation for the employer community—extending the statutorily mandated “December 31, 2013” deadline for the employer mandate and penalties.

Time is running out: Congress wrote this law; we voted for you. We have a problem; you need to fix it. The unintended consequences of the ACA are severe. Perverse incentives are already creating nightmare scenarios:

First, the law creates an incentive for employers to keep employees’ work hours below 30 hours a week. Numerous employers have begun to cut workers’ hours to avoid this obligation, and many of them are doing so openly. The impact is two-fold: fewer hours means less pay while also losing our current health benefits.

That’s an excerpt from an open letter written by the heads of the Teamsters, UFCW, and UNITE-HERE unions, whining that Obamacare will hurt their members and that it’s unfair that businesses got a delay in implementation, but the loyal unionistas didn’t. Do read the whole thing and see if you can get through it without saying “We tried to warn you, you corrupt dummies!” several times.

I found it impossible.

I was going to go into a long diatribe about the unions reaping what they sowed, but Ed Morrissey (hat tip) kindly did it for me:

Maybe if they’d listened to Tea Party activists instead of shouting them down, the union leaders might have figured this out in 2009.  Opponents of the bill argued all along that the incentives presented by ObamaCare would kill employer-based coverage, either by depressing hiring or by depressing hours.  We’ve gotten both since the bill’s passage, just as critics predicted.

(…)

[RE: Obamacare’s treatment of union group medical plans] Excuse me, but this was even more obvious than the employment consequences.  Subsidies are only available to consumers in the individual insurance exchanges.  Union health plans are group plans (and partly employer coverage, as the letter points out).  They’re no more eligible for subsidies than consumers in employer plans, and they’ll get taxed just like all other “Cadillac” group plans.  This is only news to those who manned the barricades rather than reading the fine print, or really any print at all.

Ed’s right, the union bosses should resign in disgrace for selling out their membership. But, they won’t. Mob bosses never go quietly. Meanwhile, I’m going to relax and enjoy the sweet scent of schadenfreude.

PS: If you’ve forgotten why I feel a special disdain and contempt for Jimmy Hoffa, jr., the Teamsters boss, let me remind you.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Photo of the Day: TX State Sen. @BobDeuell displays boy/girl baby shoes at #TXlege

They say men’s voices shouldn’t matter on this issue. I say – as men are fathers, brothers, uncles, etc – “hell yes, they should!” As seen at the Washington Post:

Texas State Senator State Senator Bob Deuell

Republican State Senator Bob Deuell, who set two pairs of infant shoes on the counter, speaks during a senate hearing on a proposed abortion bill in Austin. The political battle in Texas over proposed restrictions on abortion resumed Monday with a rally by abortion opponents and a public hearing in the state Senate, where Democrat Wendy Davis staged a filibuster last month to stall the Republican-backed measure.
Mike Stone / Reuters

Note they are pink AND blue, for girl and boy — because all life is precious and all opinions on this issue matter, no matter the gender. Much better than the blood red shoes Wendy Davis wore when she attempted to filibuster the previous version of this bill last month …

(Hat tip: @StevenErtelt and Life News)

Related:

Democrats decide on electoral strategy in 2014: suicide

**Posted by Phineas

Because taking pride of ownership in Obamacare worked so well for them in 2010:

Scarred by years of Republican attacks over Obamacare, with more in store next year, Democrats have settled on an unlikely strategy for the 2014 midterms: Bring it on.

Party strategists believe that embracing the polarizing law — especially its more popular elements — is smarter politics than fleeing from it in the House elections. The new tack is a marked shift from 2010, when Republicans pointed to Obamacare as Exhibit A of Big Government run amok on their way to seizing the House from Democrats.

But the Democratic bear hug, reflecting a calculation it’s probably impossible to shed their association with the law even if they wanted to, is still a high-wire public relations act. The White House has consistently struggled with messaging on Obamacare, hoping the public would gain an appreciation for the health care makeover as its benefits became apparent. That never really happened, but Democrats seem to be banking that it finally will.

Yeah, because the problem from their point of view is always the messaging: “if only we explained ourselves better, then the rubes public would support our glorious ideas. Their lives are better, it’s just that they don’t know it. So we just have to fine tune our message and we’re back in business!” It’s never that their ideas stink like a fish left out in the sun, or that the public resents to the point of rage the way Obamacare was passed, as Moe Lane explains:

…the Democrats apparently have never really understood that the way that Obamacare was passed features prominently in the reason why it’s so unpopular among the rest of us.  Politico’s vaguely revisionist history aside, the Democrats certainly attempted to tout Obamacare as being a net positive in the 2010 elections; what they failed to realize then – and, apparently, now – is that when you shove something down my throat, I don’t particularly care whether you think that it tastes great or not.  What I care about is your callous indifference and unwarranted arrogance; and so it was with Obamacare.  The Democrats ignored the opposition, ignored the populace, and even ignored the established rules to pass their walking monstrosity of a health care rationing system; and it is a measure of precisely how tone-deaf they were about the procedure that one of their leaders actually thought that it was smart to tell people that we had to pass the bill to find out what was in it.

And he’s right. Aside from the abomination of Obamacare itself, the way it was passed, not just unconstitutional but anti-constitutional (No time to read the bill, drafting sessions from which the opposition was excluded, insulting the public, deem and pass, reconciliation…), is offensive, infuriating, enraging, and a good part of the reason for the electoral bug-squashing the Democrats suffered in 2010. I can just see the Republicans dusting off the Pelosi videos now.

In spite of that, the Democrats think the strategy of defending Obamacare, tuning their message, and promising to fix the broken parts while keeping the parts people like will work. Politico, again:

“In 2010, the benefits of ACA were theoretical and Democratic candidates ran away from it. If you were in a tough race and asked about health care,” a senior Democratic official told POLITICO, “you changed the topic. In 2014, Democrats can talk about the positives, position themselves as consumer advocates to make it work and go on offense against Republicans for wanting to take the benefits away.”

A problem with this is that those portions people like, including things I find distasteful such as keeping “children” on the parents’ insurance until they’re 26, can be fixed to be more market-oriented and part of a repeal-and-replace bill that still guts the core of the PPACA, which progressives adore and the majority loathes:  the hated mandate, the requirements to buy coverage you don’t need or want, and the new taxes.

Ah, yes. The new taxes and the increased premiums. Jim Geraghty tells us why that light the Democrats see at the end of the tunnel may instead be an oncoming train:

So . . . in 2014, just as premiums begin to reflect the changes of Obamacare, and in the year where the uninsured must start paying the government $95 or 1 percent of their income (whichever is higher) . . . Democrats have decided they’ll embrace Obamacare and make it a centerpiece of their reelection message.

(…)

The point is, starting in 2014, a lot of people who don’t have insurance and find the process of getting insurance immensely confusing and frustrating will suddenly be told they must pay the government for their failure to get insurance. And at that precise moment, Democrats will ask for their vote as an expression of gratitude.

That penalty will be enforced, collected by, and paid to the IRS, which has just been exposed as being quite willing to harass and punish law-abiding Americans for their political beliefs. And yet the Democrats want to remind voters of Obamacare and help the Republicans connect the two?

Genius. Brer Rabbit couldn’t have found a more attractive briar patch.

PS: For those under the impression that Pelosi and company might still have hit on a winning strategy, let’s take a walk down memory lane to see what happened the last time they told us how wonderful Obamacare would be. Have a look at the results for the House races, the Senate contests, and the state-level elections in 2010. To quote the Politico article again, “Bring it on.”

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Feel Good story of the day: One World Trade Center makes it to 1776 feet (VIDEO)

Fantastic!

To cheers from spectators and workers alike, construction crews set a silver spire atop New York City’s One World Trade Center on Friday to bring the structure to its full 1,776 height and cap an emotional 12-year effort to restore a key part of the city skyline shattered by the 9/11 terror attacks.

The 408-foot spire, which weighs 758 tons, includes a broadcast antenna and a light that will be visible from miles away to serve as a both a beacon for aircraft and a permanent signal of triumph over extremists who jolted the city and the country.

“This really is a symbolic moment because this building really represents the resiliency of this country,” Port Authority Vice Chair Scott Rechler told TODAY’s Matt Lauer, who was perched on the 104th floor to witness the process. “These people, the thousand men and women who have worked here tirelessly, really as a tribute for the people that perished on 9/11 right on this site.”

The needle will be held in place by a temporary structure until iron workers finish off the permanent base in the coming weeks.

The 1,776 feet — or 541 meters — is symbolic of the year 1776, when the U.S. declared its independence.

The building is rising at the northwest corner of the site where the twin towers were destroyed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. The area is well on its way to reconstruction with the 72-story Four World Trade Center and other buildings.

The tower is scheduled to open for business in 2014. Tenants include the magazine publisher Conde Nast, the government’s General Services Administration and Vantone Holdings China Center, which will provide business space for international companies.

The elegant spire gives the building the extra height needed to claim the status as the tallest structure in the U.S. and the third-tallest in the world, although building experts dispute whether the spire is actually an antenna — a crucial distinction in measuring the building’s height.

Here’s video of the flag-draped spire being hoisted into place:

Never forget.

NYC Mayor @MikeBloomberg gets taste of his own medicine, but no pizza UPDATE: Sadly, it’s just satire.

**Posted by Phineas

I love it!

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was denied a second slice of pizza today at an Italian eatery in Brooklyn.

The owners of Collegno’s Pizzeria say they refused to serve him more than one piece to protest Bloomberg’s proposed soda ban,which would limit the portions of soda sold in the city.

Bloomberg was having an informal working lunch with city comptroller John Liu at the time and was enraged by the embarrassing prohibition. The owners would not relent, however, and the pair were forced to decamp to another restaurant to finish their meal.

Witnesses say the situation unfolded when as the two were looking over budget documents, they realized they needed more food than originally ordered.

“Hey, could I get another pepperoni over here?” Bloomberg asked owner Antonio Benito.

“I’m sorry sir,” he replied, “we can’t do that. You’ve reached your personal slice limit.”

Hey, Mikey! How does it feel to have someone telling what you can and can’t eat, you pint-sized statist tyrant?

Read the rest, with a language warning: Hizzoner doesn’t like being told “no.”

Makes me want to go to New York, just to give Collegno’s some thank-you business. smiley applause

via The Jawa Report

UPDATE: Just found out it was satire. Darn it. It’s one of those things that just should be true. :)

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

(Video) The President on the North Korean threat

**Posted by Phineas

The Virtual President, that is. “President” Bill Whittle holds a press conference to explain American policy (and opinion of) North Korea in no uncertain terms:

Honest, direct, and no diplomatic weasel words such as “unacceptable,” “world opinion,” or my favorite, “the international community.” (1)

Neither bellicose nor warmongering; no chest-thumping to be seen. Just a clear, confident statement of the problem and the actions the president will take in defense of American national interest, American lives, and American allies. It’s like Walter Brennan used to say in “The Guns of Will Sonnett”No brag, just fact.

Isn’t that how an American president should be?

Footnote:
(1) Imagine me pausing for a moment to gag. Actually, no. You’re not imagining it at all.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)