Dr. James West would have earned a spot in medical history solely on the basis of his signature achievement as a surgeon. In 1950, West was part of the team at a Chicago-area hospital that was responsible for the first successful human kidney transplant (in this case, into Ruth Tucker, who was in danger of dying from polycystic kidney disease). Drugs to suppress the immune system and prevent it from rejecting a transplanted organ didn't yet exist, so the transplant only lasted three months before it was rejected. But the operation gave Tucker's remaining kidney enough of a break that it could start working again, and she lived for an additional five years as a result. And the breakthrough helped pave the way for the organ transplants that today give tens of thousands of people each year a new lease on life.
Still far apart : Despite a looming deadline and mounting pressure to "get it done," President Obama yesterday said he was not interested in any temporary "stopgap" solution to the debt ceiling problem."That is just not an acceptable approach. So we might as well do it now. Pull off the Band-Aid." Although the president wouldn't get into specifics, it was clear that Social Security reforms are still on the bargaining table. ... What happens if Congress fails to raise the debt limit by August 2? We've been here before, sort of.
Still deadlocked, despite Sunday night meeting. With three weeks to go before the government can no longer borrow money to meet its obligations, President Obama and Congressional leaders are still without an agreement on how to raise the nation's debt ceiling limit. President Obama proposed a larger $4.2 trillion debt reduction plan. At issue: Republicans say they will not support any plan that features revenue from higher or additional taxes. And the size of the president's plan means it can only be achieved with steep cost-cutting AND tax increases, GOP leaders say. During the 75-minute meeting, there was no specific mention of last week's surprise report that the White House was open to making cuts in programs such as Social Security and Medicare to reach an agreement.
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