Benny's World

Saturday, February 21, 2009

You Would Think Roland Burris Could Take a Hint

Roland Burris is in hot water. He knows it.

From Rich Miller:

A former top official for then- Gov. Rod Blagojevich said Thursday he got a “courtesy call” from Roland Burris last fall noting Burris’ interest in a vacant U.S. Senate seat—a contact Burris failed to mention to lawmakers in his evolving testimony about how he got the job.

John Filan, former chief operating officer in Blagojevich’s administration, also said Burris called him later—after Blagojevich’s Dec. 9 arrest on federal corruption charges. Filan said Burris asked him to put in a good word with then-Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn if Quinn became governor and inherited the power to make the Senate appointment.

Burris has gotten signals from the White House to consider his future. Governor Pat Quinn called for Burris to step down. And Burris' chief of staff quit, going back to be a senior adviser for Reid.

But nooooooooo.......

According to the Chicago Tribune this morning:

On Friday, Burris toured a Veterans Affairs hospital and the Great Lakes Naval Training Center in North Chicago, but continued his vow not to speak to the media, whom he blames for taking his comments about contacts with the Blagojevich administration and casting him in a negative light.

"He's asked the public and officials to stop their rush to judgment and asked for the facts to come out," said Burris spokesman Jim O'Connor. "There is a legal process moving forward and he's promised to fully cooperate."

Burris is as pathetic in his hubris as was our former governor. It's all about him and not the people of Illinois.

I agree with Governor Pat Quinn that Burris needs to step aside for the good of the state (as it is the laughingstock of the country) and to have a special election in May. It's expensive to have an election during a time that the budget is in crisis, but who said democracy was cheap?

Labels: , , ,

Friday, February 20, 2009

RIP, Socks, the Former First Cat

According to CNN, Socks, the Clinton's First Feline, was put down this morning after a bout with cancer at Three Notch Veterinary Clinic in Hollywood, Maryland.

Socks was adopted by Chelsea Clinton when her father was governor of Arkansas.

A stray, Socks was adopted by Chelsea Clinton when her father was governor of Arkansas. He was brought to the White House, but often spent time in the basement, and when the Clintons moved to Westchester County, he lived with Bettie Currie, the 42nd POTUS' secretary, as Bill Clinton was allergic to cats.

I know my Elmora thought highly of Socks, especially as it was designated as the First Cat. Elmora looks a lot like Socks.

I guess the Clintons weren't present when Socks went to Rainbow Bridge, but sounds like the Vets did an able job in doing what they could to make Socks comfortable in the twilight of his years.

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Update on Elmora

She was spry today, despite her two teeth being extracted. If anything, she was hyperactive, which is why I had to keep a close eye on her.

She's still in a bit of pain, and the pain med is working. While she despises getting treatments, she is doing pretty well. She's hungry, which is good. I am feeding her Fancy Feast, and giving her an antibiotic in her meals twice a day.

Her kidneys are on the decline, however, and it turns out dental problems are connected with kidneys in pooties.

She's my girl, and has been my friend for 15 years. She's moved with me over 8 times.

The expense of the vet was not cheap for a geriatric profile, teeth cleaning, extraction, and meds--they were to the tune of $530. I worry I may not be able to do as much for her due to payroll checks with no increases for the immediate future, and a spouse who may have to take a job out of state to keep his career going.

But I tell my spouse and myself:

Pets never ask for toys, cars, electronic devices, nor clothes
Pets never ask to go on a vacation, nor for extraordinary experiences that take time and money
Pets do not eat the most expensive foods nor ask to go to restaurants
Pets do not need to go to college or school
Pets do not need to eat out of the best dishes, nor do they demand you clean up after them

Thus, while their vet bills are expensive, they are worth to do what's right for their health. The presiding Vet called my home to see how things were going with Elmora and Syd. Great customer relationship management practice, and I mean it.

Labels: , ,

Psst, President Obama...We Need this Man for HHS

Dr. Howard Dean, former gov't of Vt, presidential candidate in 2004, and DNC Party Chairman until December, pushed back against the goons who are against spending money on medical research.

On the Huffington Post, Dr. Dean explained why medical research funds were necessary for the stimulus, in particular, about comparative health care:

Comparative Effectiveness Research:

At issue is something called "Comparative Effectiveness Research" which basically means giving your doctor access to the latest research on what treatments and therapies work and which don't. This also helps doctors know which treatments are more expensive than others, and helps both patients and doctors decide if there is a cheaper treatment that is just as effective. As a doctor and the husband of a doctor, I know how important it is to have solid scientific research to make critical decisions for my patients.

This research will help doctors choose the best treatment for their patients' situation and help them make more informed choices rather than risk prescribing less effective or even potentially harmful treatments.

Essentially, in order to control costs and provide patients with better care as we reform health care, the Federal Government will fund and disseminate research that evaluates the effectiveness of different treatments and medicines. This research will give doctors and patients better choices, and most importantly better health care for their money.

This is a common sense idea that should have been put in place a long ago.

I agree with Dr. Dean on this one. I've been battling a sinus infection for over a week, and while I have read that antibiotics are not as useful in getting rid of a sinus infection, they have always worked for me. Now my health care provider tells me that they have a policy not to use antibiotics for sinus infections. If I had known that, I wouldn't have bothered to go in and get looked at in hopes of a prescription when I had already tried other remedies and know what to do about colds and sinus problems in general. There is nothing on the website about the policy, and I would prefer if comparative research was done and put on websites of our health care providers for different illnesses to explain their policies if the research points to it. A handout for $15 doesn't cut it for me in the age of the Internet.

The most important point Dr. Dean makes is this one, medicine is science driven and not ideology driven. Rush and his ilk, who aren't doctors, don't get it.

So to President Obama, this man is clearly in your camp. Hire him as your HHS Secretary. If you believe in a team of rivals, he fits into your cabinet, and your chief of staff needs to embrace Dr. Dean's ideas.

(photo courtesy of nmfbihop, taken at Netroots Nation)

Labels: , ,

Monday, February 16, 2009

Show Some Love for Your Pets

Today's NYT article, "Kicking the Habit for Your Pet" grabbed my attention as it had to do with smokers and their pets. I am not a smoker although when I was much younger, I did smoke. My parents smoked a lot when I was a kid. And makes me wonder if our family pets would have lived longer if my parents hadn't smoked. Look at the stats presented in the article.

Studies show that smoking poses a significant health threat to dogs, cats and birds who inhale secondhand smoke. A study at Tufts College of Veterinary Medicine found a higher rate of mouth cancer in cats who live with smokers. Cats are particularly vulnerable because carcinogenic compounds in smoke settle on their fur, which then are ingested by the cat when it grooms. A smoker’s cat is also twice as likely to develop malignant lymphoma than a cat that lives with non-smokers.

Dogs who live with smokers are more likely to develop cancers in the nose and sinuses, according to a study at Colorado State University. Long-nosed dog breeds were at highest risk. Dogs with short or medium-length noses showed higher rates of lung cancer.

To any of my friends who still smoke, if you won't quit smoking for your children's health or yourself, please consider it for the sake of your pooties and woozles. Pets ask so little of us for the enjoyment they bring to our lives.

Speaking of, I am awaiting word on Elmora's oral surgery today. She is having two teeth extracted. I'm hoping she will feel much better as I noticed her step hasn't been quite as spry in the past couple of months.

Labels: , , , ,