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jberryhill's Journal
jberryhill's Journal
December 31, 2012

OB/GYNs Pulled In Two Directions In Rare Fiscal Cliff / New year Dilemma

12/31/2012 AP -

Expect your morning paper or favorite news program to feature the "first baby born in 2013" tomorrow, complete with gushing parents and maternity staff. But don't dig too far into the story. The "first baby born" story has long become a journalistic filler story, in the company of bus plunges and the world's oldest man or woman dying. Readers have figured out that those two stories run every couple of weeks or months.

It has become so reliable a story, in fact, that stories long deemed apocryphal about "slow down, we have thirty more seconds 'till midnight" have, in a sense been true, and a reflection on the American obsession with the pursuit of celebrity. Before the advent of national news that reflected the same fascination with what had previously been local stories, your morning paper would have the news of little Julie who was born at one of your nearby hospitals at, say, 1:30 AM.

But no more. As health care has become more competitive, and with parents of the maternity-as-reality-show mindset proliferated, there was what might be called an "accidental conspiracy".

"We'd always get some saying, 'Can we get him out by midnight so we can claim him as a deduction for this year?'" says Dr. Donald Duque, the head of obstetrics of Jefferson Hospital in Philadelpha, "But then we'd start getting calls from local news stations looking for parking permits for their satellite vans and suddenly every woman in labor and her husband want to be on TV. And the administrators let them park, cross their fingers and wink at us. We've been offered bonuses and tips to go to a C-section, while people are making sure are clocks are right to the second."

But this year, obstetricians, unlike their patients, are being pulled in two directions. With the fiscal cliff looming, more couples are keeping an eye on the clock and looking to claim those deductions and credits while they can.

Complicating the "local story as national story" aspect of the "first baby of the year" is, which time zone counts? From a strictly chronological standpoint the first baby born in the Eastern time zone is born before the first baby in the Pacific time zone, so sometimes the story will run with contenders for the title in different time zones, states, or whatever appeals to a local editor fleshing out the national wire stories.

"Oh, we get asked about that one every year," chuckled Dr. Sam Iohuneli, of Kapi'olani Medical Center for Women and Children in Honolulu, "but you know, nobody is watching the clock." According to Dr. Iohuneli, there can sometimes be a round of "who got the time on that?" when filling out the paperwork after the fact, and sometimes a guess might be one year or it might be the other. This is particularly true among the growing number of home births where the information for the birth certificate is provided by a family witness. "From our perspective, we are here to treat our patients and provide public health services, so the details on the birth certificate are not the first priority."
December 31, 2012

The Split-Screen Tonight Will Be AWESOME!

We're going to have a multi-screen view of the ball dropping in Times Square in one box, and the House of Republicans doing their damndest to look like tubgirl!

Whatshername will be stripping for Anderson Cooper, while he's trying to say "This just in from the House..."

December 31, 2012

John McCain Demands Answers On State Department Hematology Security

"You know, first they sent representatives of the administration out on the Sunday talk shows to say it was a concussion. But then a few days later they are saying it is a blood clot. Now, the American people need to know that they aren't manipulating the story for political purposes. When did the administration first know it was a blood clot? We think it was much earlier than they said it was. They knew it wasn't just a concussion, but they said on the talk shows that's what it was, when they had every reason to believe it was a blood clot...."

December 31, 2012

I'm gonna give you $50, Mitch!

Here you go... twenty... forty... and ten makes fifty.

Now, Mitch, you can keep that fifty dollars, or you can trade it for the box where Carol Merrill is standing.

What do you want to do Mitch?

And, Oh Mitch.... you don't win anything unless you can sell it to those idiots in the House, so you best send over your best salesman....

"My fellow prisoners... I mean... Benghazi! No... uh.. that's not what I mean...."

Or you can have what's behind door number two!

"Trade it!... Keep it!...."

Whatcha gonna do, Mitch? Door number two?

Okay, Johnny, show Mitch what he won....

December 31, 2012

Hey... Boner... Think Quick! Introduce a "repeal obamacare" bill

Or ban federal funding for abortion for the 27th time!

Stand tall, man!
December 31, 2012

The Biggest Cave Of Them All...

...is in Kentucky.

Mammoth Cave National Park preserves the cave system and a part of the Green River valley and hilly country of south central Kentucky. This is the world's longest known cave system, with more than 390 miles explored.

I had no idea it was in Kentucky.

December 31, 2012

Sydney Harbor New Year's Fireworks - AWESOME SHOW!

Dang, that's a huge honking show.
December 31, 2012

Hong Kong Harbor - New Year's Fireworks!

Okay, so gripe all you want about humanity, but in 1972 did you think you'd be watching nearly live video from Hong Kong of Chinese folks singing a Scottish song that nobody who speaks English can figure out?

December 30, 2012

What kind of baseball bat is best for home defense?

I'm thinking like a little league bat or softball bat is best for close quarters.

Wood, or aluminum?

I have a NY Mets souvenir bat - but since it is authentic, it doesn't hit anything

December 29, 2012

I rise to bemoan...


JUROR - a person who sits on a jury.

JURIST - an eminent judge or legal scholar.

These are two different words.

Thank you.

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