THE OTHER SHOE DROPS: Updates To Previous Posts
† When Healthcare Is Rationed, Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others: Wall Street banking firms Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Citigroup received doses of scarce H1N1 flu vaccine for their employees through the NYC Department of Health, reports Reuters:
CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden sent out a reminder to state and city health departments that distribute vaccine. …
"When H1N1 vaccine first became available in the fall, we directed all available doses to pediatricians, OB-GYNs, community health centers, public and private hospitals,"
"As more vaccine became available we started to place small orders to providers that serve adults, including employee health centers." …
She said 16 of the city's 25 biggest employers had vaccine, including Columbia University, Citi Group and others, as well as the Federal Reserve Bank, which is not among the top 25 employers.
† Is Obama Already A Lame Duck?: The House and Senate approved a bill preserving funding for a number of programs the White House wanted to cut, including money for more Boeing C-17 military cargo planes and paying states to jail illegal immigrants convicted of crimes, reports the Los Angeles Times:
It was the latest move by lawmakers in both parties to support projects they consider important to their states - and perhaps to their reelection prospects. …
"The president is finding some of his budget-cutting rhetoric being dashed against the rocks of parochial congressional politics," said Steve Ellis of Taxpayers for Common Sense, a watchdog group. …
"No one expected that changing the old ways of
Obama proposed cutting or eliminating more than 100 programs to save $17 billion, or 0.5% of the budget. It's difficult to issue a report card on his efforts, since lawmakers haven't completed this year's spending bills. But Congress is on track to reject a number of the cuts - with bipartisan fervor.
† Service – Or An Approximation Of It – With A Smile: Writer and first-time restauranteur Bruce Buschel offers 100 “dos and don’ts for servers” at the seafood restaurant he is building in
3. Never refuse to seat three guests because a fourth has not yet arrived.
4. If a table is not ready within a reasonable length of time, offer a free drink and/or amuse-bouche. The guests may be tired and hungry and thirsty, and they did everything right.
13. Handle wine glasses by their stems and silverware by the handles.
15. Never say “I don’t know” to any question without following with, “I’ll find out.”
36. Never reek from perfume or cigarettes. People want to smell the food and beverage.
44. Do not discuss your own eating habits, be you vegan or lactose intolerant or diabetic.
45. Do not curse, no matter how young or hip the guests.
52. Know your menu inside and out. If you serve Balsam Farm candy-striped beets, know something about Balsam Farm and candy-striped beets.
56. Do not ignore a table because it is not your table. Stop, look, listen, lend a hand. (Whether tips are pooled or not.)
60. Bring all the appetizers at the same time, or do not bring the appetizers. Same with entrees and desserts.
62. Do not fill the water glass every two minutes, or after each sip. You’ll make people nervous.
65. Always remove used silverware and replace it with new.
66. Do not return to the guest anything that falls on the floor - be it napkin, spoon, menu or soy sauce.
76. Do not ask if a guest is finished the very second the guest is finished. Let guests digest, savor, reflect.
77. Do not disappear.
80. Never insist that a guest settle up at the bar before sitting down; transfer the tab.
81. Know what the bar has in stock before each meal.
82. If you drip or spill something, clean it up, replace it, offer to pay for whatever damage you may have caused. Refrain from touching the wet spots on the guest.
84. Do not refill a coffee cup compulsively. Ask if the guest desires a refill.
87. Do not stop your excellent service after the check is presented or paid.
† Where The Rubber Meets The Parking Spot: Charles County (MD) Circuit Judge Robert C. Nalley pleaded guilty to tampering with a vehicle belonging to a cleaning woman at the courthouse where he usually presides, and was fined $500. He had deflated her tire when he found her car parked in a restricted area.
† Updates To Previous Posts (second item, Iraq Was Supposed To Become Like The USA - But The Reverse Has Happened: Part II): AZ honor killing victim Noor Faleh Almaleki a beautiful, vibrant 20-year-old who grew up in AZ is described by her friend Marcella Andregg as “independent, but far from rebellious and always respectful of her parents.” Andregg adds that she “just wanted to live her own life, but that her father wouldn't let her.” The Associated Press reports:
He made her quit her fast-food restaurant job and arranged for her to marry a man in
"His whole persona was very controlling, very strong-minded in the ways he wanted it for her," Andregg said. "He talked down to her very much, made sure she knew she wasn't good enough and brought a lot of dishonor to the family."
Meanwhile, she said, Noor "just wanted to be a normal teenager," and later, wanted to finish college, marry the man she loved, and have children.
In 2008, friends say [Faleh Hassan] Almaleki took Noor to
But Noor fell in love with another man, friends say, and was living in his home with his mother when she was killed.
† Updates To Previous Posts (fourth item, Why We Need Gitmo): U.S. District Judge Michael Mihm sentenced Ali al-Marri to eight years and four months in prison instead of the 15 years he could have given him, because of the "very severe" conditions the al-Qaida sleeper agent was subjected to during the nearly six years he was held without charges in a U.S. Navy brig in SC, reports The Associated Press:
A tearful al-Marri told the judge he was sorry for helping al-Qaida and would never hurt anyone. But Mihm rejected the idea that al-Marri wasn't capable of violence, saying by not changing course after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in New York City and Washington, al-Marri made it clear he intended to remain an al-Qaida.
"I believe based on everything that I have heard that you truly do not regret what you did and that you would do it again after you go home," Mihm said.
But in a stinging critique of government interrogation techniques that included threats to have al-Marri's family rounded up in
"My personal belief as a judge is that that was totally unacceptable," Mihm said. "That's not who we are."
During the two-day sentencing hearing, defense attorneys showed videos and presented testimony to show al-Marri had endured cruel treatment - including sensory deprivation, lengthy interrogations, long periods of isolation, and threats to harm his family - in the Navy brig.
Should Gitmo detainees be tried and convicted in civilian courts, Mihm 's ruling has set a precedent to deduct the time spent in custody from their prison sentences.