Daily Archives: December 10, 2013

Well SOMEONE’S lying


You don't look so bad - stop whining and go home

You don’t look so bad – stop whining and go home

Paul Krugman:  “In Britain, the government itself runs the hospitals and employs the doctors. We’ve all heard scare stories about how that works in practice; these stories are false.”

Britain: Man dies of brain infection after being sent home by hospital nurse.

Mr Baker went to the hospital with his wife, Alicia, on July 24, 2010, suffering from a severe ear ache, vomiting, dizziness, light intolerance and a fever.

Instead of being seen by an A&E doctor, he was referred by the receptionist to see a nurse at the  walk in centre on the hospital site.

The nurse wrongly diagnosed him as suffering from an infection of the external ear canal and sent him home with ear drops.

Had he been seen by an A&E doctor, he would probably have been correctly diagnosed with a more serious middle ear infection.

As the infection was not properly treated, it spread from his ear to his brain and caused irreversible damage.

We’ll all be seeing clinic nurses soon, but why worry?


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When guns are outlawed, only auto mechanics will have jumper cables

NRA Lifetime Member

NRA Lifetime Member

Yemen: cops jump start car using two AK-47s

The ubiquitous Kalashnikov assault rifle has come to the rescue of several embattled Yemeni policemen.

Not in a firefight. Instead, it was in firing-up their unreliable car.

The problem: A flat battery. The solution – two Kalashnikovs and some lengths of wire.

The application: Linking the battery terminals between two cars in order to give one a jump-start.


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No real estate news today

It appears headquarters is closed. Perhaps the staff commutes in school buses.


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Well this is one way to rein in health care costs, and we’ll stop hearing about those obscene drug company profits


Wow, I didn't realize buying drugs was so complicated

Wow, I didn’t realize buying drugs was so complicated

Yes, of course you can keep your current drug regime, but you’ll have to pay for it.

“If the drug isn’t on this formulary list, then the patient could be responsible for its full cost (with little or no co-insurance to help offset that cost),” he continued. “Moreover, the money they spend won’t count against their deductibles or out of pocket limits ($12,700 for a family, $6,350 for an individual).”

Gottlieb used the drug Copaxone for multiple sclerosis as an example, saying someone with a bronze plan would be responsible for paying 40 percent of the drugs out-of-pocket costs, or about $1,980 per month. Under the platinum plan, the out-of-pocket cost would be $792 per month.

If a drug isn’t covered, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have said there is an appeals process to seek the coverage.

“But this appeals process can take months. And there is no sure chance of winning,” Gottlieb said. “If a drug costs tens of thousands of dollars a year, how many patients will be able to foot that bill out of pocket until they win an appeal, or take the chance that they could lose the appeal, and be stuck with the full cost of the drug?”

A January 2012 study of 22 carriers in six states by Avalere Health found the number of available drugs per carrier ranged from 480 to 1,110. The study found that 90 percent of the lowest-cost bronze plans require patients to pay 40 percent out of pocket for the most expensive prescription “tiers.” Currently the average prescription co-pay is about 29 percent for insurance policies.

“Even if your drug makes it onto the Obamacare plan’s formulary, getting access to a medicine can still be a costly affair for patients,” Gottlieb wrote.


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Glenn Reynolds asks, “Wait, let me guess – was the professional firefighters union a big contributor to Obama?”

obamaiaffObamaCare may wipe out volunteer fire departments, which currently comprise 71% of the country’s fire departments and partially for 16% more.

Volunteer fire departments all across the U.S. could find themselves out of money and unable to operate unless Congress or the Obama Administration exempts them from the Affordable Care Act.

‘I thought the kinks were worked out of Obamacare at the first of the month, Central Florida volunteer firefighter Carl Fabrizi told Sunshine State News.

‘Man, oh, man, this could potentially destroy some real good companies in Florida.’

The U.S. Department of Labor takes the term ‘volunteer’ literally, but the IRS says volunteer firefighters are technically employees if they’re on the job more than 30 hours per week, making them subject to Obamacare’s employee-mandate rules.

Since the Obamacare law doesn’t specifically carve out an exemption for them, fire departments where 50 or more people work – either as volunteers or officially as employees – are expected to provide health insurance for every one of them.

In towns with more than one volunteer fire department, all the staffers will likely be lumped together for tax purposes, pushing many municipalities above the 50-worker threshold.

That could cost departments of life-savers hundreds of thousands of dollars each year. Those that dump their volunteers into the federal insurance exchanges would still have to pay an annual $2,000 fine for each ’employee’ after the first 30.

‘I can tell you right now we can’t afford it,’ East Derry, Pennsylvania Fire Company Chief Edward Mann told the Patriot-News. ‘While a volunteer fire department may not have a payroll, the rest of it isn’t free. The only part that is free is the labor.’

Mann’s concerns are likely to get at least some attention in Washington: He’s also the state fire commissioner in Pennsylvania, where 97 per cent of fire departments are fully or mostly staffed by volunteers. That’s the highest percentage in the U.S.

One of many unresolved issues is how to count hours. If a volunteer is wearing a beeper, is he “on duty”? No one can, or will say.


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Well gee, Obama’s got the time

Did we land the best gig in the world, or what?

Did we land the best gig on the planet or what?

Czech Prime Minister was “dreading having to attend Mandella funeral.” Caught on tape, the PM was contrite, but explained,

‘I apologise for those words,’ Rusnok said in a statement sent to The Associated Press via his spokeswoman Jana Jaburkova on Saturday. ‘It wasn’t right to use such terms in connection with the death of Nelson Mandela.’

Rusnok said it would be difficult for him to find time for unexpected events in his busy December schedule. He added it will be decided in the next few days who will represent the Czech Republic at Mandela’s December 15 funeral.

Rusnok has an entire country to govern, while our leader has nothing of consequence  on his plate; unlike, say, when he was too busy to send anyone of consequence to Margret Thatcher’s funeral.  Now, he’s got all the time in the world to see the world.



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I blame Bush

I can't deal with some stupid website problems now - talk to me next October

I can’t deal with some stupid website problems now – talk to me in October

National Journal: Blame the failure of ObamaCare and immigration reform on the NRA.

If Adam Lanza hadn’t shot all those little kids in Sandy Hook, the Messiah would have been able to “focus like a laser” on his healthcare redo. No mention of the inherent flaws in the program itself, nor what distracted the community activist during his first five years in office but hey, gotta go with what you got.


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Misery loves company

Your Prius being made

Your Prius being made

North eastern states urge EPA to shut down rust belt factories. How about a stiff letter of protest to China?


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2″ of snow didn’t stop Knox from bringing cannons to the relief of the Alamo, but men were made of sterner stuff back then


First one there gets a free rum drink at the tiki-bar

First one there gets a free tequila 

Greenwich schools are closed today due to snow “storm”. 


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Walt has turned around and will soon be back home


Oooh, baby, I'm so LONELY! - give me a hug.

Oooh, baby, I’m so LONELY! – give me a hug.

Wisconsin shuts down the state’s only “snuggle den”.


The owner of Madison’s new Snuggle House has decided to shut it down just three weeks after it opened, choosing to pack up his pillows and beds under intense scrutiny from city officials who questioned whether the place was a front for a brothel.

The Snuggle House, part of a growing trend of touch therapy establishments and cuddle parties around the country, was located above a bar about a block from the state Capitol. It offered customers an hour of cuddling in a bed with a professional snuggler for $60.

The place got off to a rough start, even in uber-liberal Madison. The business’s original October opening got pushed back to mid-November after city officials raised concerns about whether it was really a front for prostitution and the potential for sexual assaults. They also questioned why Hurtado, who has filed for bankruptcy twice, had no business plan and no business insurance.

[Attorney] Casper said the place had two or three dozen customers in the three weeks it was open, but that [his client]  had had enough.

“All of this is so slanted and incorrect,” Casper said.


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A promising idea for GHS – or at least, a new approach

GHS considering a personalized school-within-a-school.

A team of Greenwich High School faculty members led by Headmaster Chris Winters has unveiled a proposal to launch a “school of choice” at the high school within the next two years, a model they say would offer personalized learning, heavy use of technology and strong relationships between students and staff.

“The vision is that this would be a small school designed and run by a collaborative team of teachers and that they would have access to all of the infrastructure at Greenwich High School,” Winters told Board of Education members during their Dec. 5 meeting at the district’s Greenwich Avenue headquarters. “This would actually reside in Greenwich High School, taking advantage of all the resources and opportunities Greenwich High School has to offer.”

The school of choice would operate at the GHS Hillside Road campus and would be open to all students, according to Winters. In a Dec. 5 report on the proposal, Winters and Superintendent of SchoolsWilliam McKersie presented the new school as an innovative program that would engage students while developing skills and knowledge needed for college and career readiness. They also said this would mesh with educational trends, including emphasis on digital learning and a multifaceted type of education called “blended learning.”

The Devil’s in the details, of course, but as someone who was bored to death (and incredibly lazy) at that school, excelling only in the few honors courses my test scores (and I think they also used IQ scores, back then, thank god – grades were not a good option) got me into, I think I’d have done better in a more tailored curriculum.

Or it might just have allowed me more space to goof off – who knows? But it sounds like something worth trying.

Now if they’d only bring back voc-tech so that the kids could learn something useful and lucrative, we’d really have something.


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Be careful what you wish for

The realist gets the worm

The realist gets the worm

Low cost Canadian airline asked passengers what they wanted for Christmas at departure gate, then delivered their wished-for item at landing. One boy got an Android, a family received a big screen TV, one poor sap wished for socks and underwear, and that’s what he got.

Dream big.

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