I finally understand why liberals are so confused… about one thing at least…
Great Moments in Socialized Medicine
Europeans like to think of America as racked by street crime, and also as neglecting its citizens' medical needs. But this story from London's Daily Telegraph suggests there may be an element of projection in this stereotype:
Nearly 170,000 violent incidents take place in England's NHS hospitals each year, data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act has revealed.
Labour's laws on 24-hour drinking are being blamed for alcohol-fuelled violence in accident and emergency departments in particular.
There have been several murders and rapes at hospitals in recent years and thousands of attacks annually involve the use of knives and other weapons.
Almost one in four attacks results in injury, yet only a fraction of them are ever reported to the police.
The statistics reveal the dangers that doctors, nurses, paramedics, patients and visitors face in our hospitals on a daily basis.
Some hospital A & E [accident and emergency] departments have been described as "war zones" on a typical Friday or Saturday night.
Meanwhile, the Daily Mail reports that "the decision to designate patients as 'do not resuscitate' is falling to junior doctors in one in five cases, a report has revealed":
Usually a consultant should make the final decision–after talking to the family–in cases where elderly patients are not expected to survive.
But senior doctors were involved in dealing with just one in three patients admitted to hospital shortly before dying, says the report from the National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death. . . .
The findings come amid continuing controversy over elderly patients near the end of their lives being assigned to "death pathway" schemes.
Experts claim doctors and nurses need more training in how to care for people who are dying, because wrong diagnoses can result in withdrawal of food and fluids when they might otherwise have survived.
Then again, according to former Enron adviser 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."
See, it's not "death panels," it's "death pathways" – it's not a final, abrupt determination, it's a journey. If we want to communicate better with America's dumbest twenty percent, we've just got to learn the terminology!
Now here are a few more Taranto Gems of the Day…
A Scapegoat Alternative
A Sunday Associated Press dispatch from Camden, N.J., give us a mischievous idea:
In a final campaign swing on behalf of the only governor seeking re-election this fall, President Barack Obama on Sunday pitched Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine's bid as a key component for the White House to make good on its political promises.
Once he realizes the Bush well has run dry, maybe the president can blame Corzine's loss for his failure to make good on his promises.
And last but best, at least for me…
The Curse, Reversed
We're more of a football fan, but still, as a New Yorker we feel as if things have returned to normal. The New York Yankees last night won Game 6 of the World Series to defeat the Philadelphia Female Horses. It's the first championship for the Yanks since 2000. Of course, just weeks after that series, Hillary Clinton became a senator from New York state, a position in which she served until early this year, when she left to be Barack Obama's low-profile secretary of state.
Turns out we were right: Mrs. Clinton cursed the Yankees. Though reader Jorge Souss has another theory:
Since the Yankees won their first pennant (1921), every Democratic president except Lyndon Johnson has presided over two or more Yankee world championships. And during the past 50 years, the Yankees have won eight World Series in the 20 years in which a Democrat occupied the White House and have not won a single championship in the 30 years in which a Republican was president. During the past half century, the Yankees have won 40% of the time when a Democrat is president and 0% of the time when a Republican is president.
So it should not have surprised you that the Yankees have not won a World Series since October 2000. As Democrats reminded us every time something wasn't exactly as we wanted between 2001 and 2009, "It's Bush's fault!" I believe that you owe Secretary Clinton an apology. And when the Yankees defeated the Phillies, Arlen Specter had had nothing to do with it. President Obama won it for the Yankees merely by showing up (as he did with the Nobel Prize).
C'mon, what could the party in the White House possibly have to do with the Yankees? That's just superstition!
Even if you don't appreciate baseball the way you should, The Philadelphia team's name "correction" was the loudest out-loud laugh I've had in ages…