Archive for February, 2011

Primary Care Physicians as Quarterbacks for Health Care

February 24, 2011

NY Times, Tuesday, February 22,2011: PERSONAL HEALTH, Jane Brody

Tackling Care as Chronic Ailments Pile Up

There is a growing and underappreciated problem in health care, that of the number of patients with more than one chronic illness which must be addressed in order to improve health care, as well as costs for all Americans. 

Ms. Brody lists some solutions, including using primary care physicians as quarterbacks for “care of individuals with multiple chronic conditions.”  

Quarterbacks in American football are the team leaders, calling the plays and working with coaches for their team. The term is used here in a medical sense, but can also be used in business for someone who is the team leader on a business project.


Republican Freshmen Offer Shotgun Approach to Deficit

February 22, 2011

San Francisco Chronicle, Monday, February 21, 2011:  EDITORIAL

GOP freshmen offer phony cuts:

“A quick, huge slash to the federal budget may be what the Republican freshman class in Congress wants.  But the shotgun spray of these cuts, plus the fact that few will ever happen, should infuriate voters who want genuine fiscal reform.”

A shotgun spray is actually a more effective metaphor for this article than my headline, the more usual shotgun approach.  The actual cuts have been passed by the House, but still need to be worked on and approved by the Senate and the President, which is unlikely.

A shotgun formation is used in American football when the quarterback is back from the center, frequently alone, while his receivers spread widely giving him multiple options.

Multiple starting tees for the round is a  shotgun start in golf tournaments.

Behind the Curve: 2008 Meltdown

February 17, 2011

I just saw “Inside Job”, the prize winning documentary.  One of the persons (sorry didn’t catch the name) interviewed stated that the regulators were “behind the curve”.

The U. S. has had a series of financial crises from the 1980s to the present recession:  In the ’80s, the savings and loans fallout/Keating disaster and the Capitol Management crisis; in the 90’s the dot com bubble; and now the continued repercussions of the 20008 housing/financial services meltdown. Financial deregulation started under President Reagan, continued under President Clinton, and accelerated under President George H. W. Bush.  

Behind the curve, can be thought of as behind the learning curve or behind baseball’s curve ball.  Whatever the background of the idiom/metaphor, it’s a strike.  And all of us struck out.

It is hard to believe that so many bright persons can be so impervious to the signals of disaster.  I think it’s hubris.  They were all “type A” personalities who thought they were godlike,  but really were like lemmings following one another over a cliff into the sea of dishonor.

Federal Judicial Appointments: Playing Hardball

February 14, 2011

New York Times OP-ED Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Empty Bench Syndrome, by Jonathan Bernstein

“On Monday (2/7/11) the Senate finally confirmed three federal judges nominated by President Obama last year, thanks to a deal between the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, and his Republican counterpart, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.” 

“There is a vacancy crisis in the federal judiciary system, the result, according to Democrats, of more than a year of Republican obstruction of President Obama’s nominations… The Republicans have managed to slow the process to a crawl by deploying an array of delaying tactics, like demanding the full 30 hours of debate allowed after a filibuster is defeated.”

This is hardball--but the majority (Democrats) can fight back.  For example, the Democrats could push the extra time required by the Republicans’ tactics to the weekends…”

One can deduce from the part of the article quoted above that politicians playing hardball make getting judicial appointments difficult.  The sport of “hardball” or baseball is considered more difficult than playing softball where a softer ball is used rather than a  hard one.

Please see the sports idioms, hardball and softball, in the http://www.sportsidioms.com website.  Thanks.

Condo Buyer in New York City Wants a Level Playing Field

February 13, 2011

The New York Times, Saturday, February, 12, 2011, Christine Haughney

“Fight over 109 Square Feet in Condo Shines Light on How Homes Are Measured”

A buyer wanted to buy a condo advertised as having 743 square feet, but when the buyer measured it, after paying a deposit, it only measured 634 feet.  The seller refused to reduce the purchase price by the percentage of the difference. The buyer doesn’t think this is right: “We’re trying to do whatever we can so that it’s a level playing field.”  

A level playing field helps in sports and business. 


The End of Mubarak is Like the Second Inning

February 4, 2011

THE NEW YORK TIMES OP-ED WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 2011, MAUREEN DOWD

According to Ms. Dowd, Richard Haass, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations who worked at the State Department during President George W. Bush’s first term, says this about Egypt’s political eruption, ” This could go off the rails.  The end of Mubarak is like the second inning.”  

To go off the rails is a metaphor about trains.  If they go off the rails they often crash.   The end of Mubarak is compared to the second inning in a baseball game, in other words it’s just the beginning, as there are normally nine innings in a baseball game unless there is a tie and then the game can go on until one of the teams breaks the tie.  I would assume the protests are the first inning.