More cheerful news. My sister’s best friend, someone I have known my entire life, had her kitty mauled by dogs. RIP, Aiko:
She is distraught. Please send her your condolences.
Here is something to brighten your day:
Like many low-income neighborhoods, the north side of Milwaukee has seen a gradual depletion of its primary care doctors over the last two decades. One by one, they have retired or surrendered to financial reality, rarely to be replaced.
At the few remaining practices, the wait for an appointment can make it almost purposeless to seek one. When Martha Brown’s 3-year-old daughter, Loverree, woke up with a runny nose last Thursday, her doctor’s office told her it would be a week. “I couldn’t wait,” Ms. Brown said. “I had to see what was wrong with my baby. I think she’s got an infection.”
Rather than heading to an emergency room, Ms. Brown took her three children to the Milwaukee Immediate Care Center, a small nonprofit clinic that has treated the north side’s largely African-American community since 1986. The clinic, which keeps hours at night and on weekends, is the only full-time operation in the neighborhood that provides urgent care, luring patients with a sign that reads, “When You Need a Doctor Today.”
Ms. Brown’s decision made good sense, not only for her but for the state and federal taxpayers who support her health coverage through Wisconsin’s Medicaid managed care program. But whether the option will remain available is an open question.
The clinic has teetered on the brink of insolvency for years, battered by foreclosure filings, delinquent tax claims, building code violations and the loss of contracts with two major H.M.O.’s. It has had to cut its hours in half, significantly reduce its medical staff and mothball its X-ray equipment.
Maybe what we really need is a complete and total breakdown of our entire health care delivery system before anyone in DC will do anything, although many would argue we are already there.
Here’s the latest winger cause du jour:
If you’ve ever been stuck on hold with a congressional office in the past, at least you’ve been able to enjoy some good patriotic music, as opposed to the lilting tones of generic smooth jazz that have been driving elevator users insane for decades. For years, congressional offices have played patriotic anthems as the background music during hold times.
Not any more. After we were startled by the hold music when we called a House office recently, sources on Capitol Hill informed us this week that the Democratic House leadership has made a sweeping decision that congressional offices now have the options of “smooth jazz” elevator music or no music at all.
Here’s what happened: Congressional offices have traditionally been able to have a choice of music or no music. The CD that had been in the congressional muzak system for “a long time” was a “patriotic tunes CD.” The CAO’s office wanted to test a program giving people a choice of multiple CDs and decided to try out a jazz CD because it’s “what a lot of companies have when you’re on hold.” However, based on the feedback they received, they simply decided to go back to the old system.
Great, so instead of songs that make good about America, Madame Speaker wanted you to listen to hopped-up hepcats be-bopping and scatting. Good thing they stopped her.
Have at it.
I haven’t shared this with you before, but I have a terrible fear that the in-school swine flu vaccinations will bring out the crazies. There’s so many ways to be crazy on this issue: you can be autism-vax crazy, you can be home-school wannabe crazy, you can be Obama-is-implanting-a-chip-in-my-child crazy.
And, remember, if a lot of nutty people resist the program, it just proves that Obama is the black Jimmy Carter. Time to bust out the cardigan!
Update. Good Lord, check out the comments on the article I linked to:
When is Obama AND HIS FAMILY going to have the H1N1 flu vaccine? They should be the first and it should be televised. He and the doctor administering the shots will also have to put their hands on the Quaran and SWEAR its the real untested vaccine.
That’s right kids. Step right up and get your Kool Aid. Can’t start the brainwashing to early. Because the govt is your friend and here to “help”. Google “squalene”
Update. This is part of why the anti-vax stuff pisses me off so much. It’s tough enough for parents to raise autistic kids. The last thing they need is a steady stream of misinformation claiming that their child’s condition is their own fault.
A Cheney nomination “would be a serious consideration because he really has been a defender of policies that the majority of people now think are successful,” McLaughlin told the Huffington Post. “Although right now a lot of people are focused on the economy, if there ever was some sort of foreign policy crisis people will look to Dick Cheney and say he had it right.”
Pointing to Cheney’s strong favorability rating among Republicans (66 percent in a May 2009 poll compared to Colin Powell’s 64 percent), McLaughlin also noted that the former vice president has a strong political platform from which to test the electoral waters.
“Right now he is writing a book, and I’m sure it will be very interesting to see how that book positions him,” McLaughlin said. “I always thought that Senator [Hillary] Clinton’s book positioned her for a run for the White House and I think it could be the same way with Dick Cheney.”
I don’t know if he frightens me more or less than Palin. And while I think either would almost certainly lose to Obama, there’s still something to the On Any Given Tuesday theory of general elections. It’s hard for me see a Cheney or Palin presidency as anything other than
a sign of the apocalypse.