Confessions of a Quackbuster

This blog deals with healthcare consumer protection, and is therefore about quackery, healthfraud, chiropractic, and other forms of so-Called "Alternative" Medicine (sCAM).

Saturday, January 01, 2005

FSU: Twisted Arms, Twisted Egos, Twisted Politics

Twisted Arms, Twisted Egos, Twisted Politics

Published: Jan 1, 2005

This is what happens when a bunch of pols get their egos out of joint.
You, gentle taxpayer, wind up having your wallet - manipulated.

Last year, before the 2004 Florida legislative session, Gov. Jeb Bush found himself in something of a pickle wrapped in a kerfuffle shrouded in a narcissist.

For running the Florida House was none other than Speaker Johnnie Byrd, a walking series of unfortunate events.

Byrd was eager to accomplish two missions during the session: 1) secure funding for his vanity Alzheimer's research institute at the University of South Florida and 2) wrap up business as soon as possible so he could hit the stump in his delusional and doomed bid to become a U.S. senator.

Aside from MacLean Stevenson walking away from ``M-A-S-H,'' never has a man been in more of a hurry to become irrelevant.

Prideful Pork

Enter then-Senate President Jim King, who regarded Byrd with all the respect and affection of former President George H.W. Bush contemplating a head of broccoli.

But King also knew he had leverage over the speaker.

If Byrd wanted his vainglorious Alzheimer's center, then King insisted his own stocking be stuffed with a chiropractic school at his beloved Florida State University.

There in the middle was the governor, not wanting yet another acrimonious and protracted legislative session during a presidential election year.

Ergo Byrd got his Alzheimer's institute and, in the process, Bush promised not to veto the $9 million-a-year-in- perpetuity appropriation for King's equally dubious chiropractic school at FSU.

So much for staunch conservative fiscal principles. So much for principles.

Ah, but there was an itsy- bitsy problem with King's prideful piece of pork: Nobody ever bothered to ask either the pooh-bahs who run FSU or the state's Board of Governors whether they wanted and/or needed a chiropractic school in Tallahassee.

Scrap Metal


Up to a point, it's understandable why Bush, Byrd and King never thought to consult with the Board of Governors. After all, the Vichy Government was more uppity than this gaggle of political appointees.

But even this collection of Muppets has gotten its dander up over being so publicly dissed by the governor and the Legislature in funding a taxpayer-supported school before the board even approved the proposal.

For that matter, the Board of Governors, which heretofore had made lemmings look downright Pattonesque, also never was consulted on Byrd's $15 million-a-year conceit.

But wait! It gets even more deliciously muddled.

Apparently the stethoscopes at the FSU medical school are about as thrilled at having chiropractors entering their hallowed midst as Barry Bonds in discovering he's been elected the International Association of Asterisks Man of the Year.

Aside from the fact that haughty medical doctors view chiropractors as little more than bone-twisting World Wrestling Federation refugees in white coats, an argument is being made that we need more chiropractors about as much as Fallujah needs more scrap metal.

Indeed, in the Tampa phone directory alone there are nearly 200 listings for chiropractors, which either means we do in fact have perhaps too many chiropractors or whiplash is contagious.

The Board of Governors, emboldened with all the fierce independence of Paris Hilton's Chihuahua, will meet Jan. 27 to ponder the future of the FSU Jeb Bush/ Jim King School of Chiropractic Medicine.

Of course, the program will be approved if only to provide treatment for all those twisted arms, headlocks and broken kneecaps.