Wednesday, February 20, 2008

If you've seen Obama's "Yes We Can" video, don't miss McCain's video:

Friday, February 15, 2008

No He Didn't!

I can't believe Putin really would have said this re: Hillary:
"At a minimum, a head of state should have a head," Putin said.
Maybe it's an issue of Russian-English translation?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Could a Recall Be Part of a Marketing Strategy?

On NPR this morning they made an announcement that See's Candies had recalled their semi-sweet chocolate chips because they may contain....gasp...traces of milk!!

Apparently some people are allergic to milk (which I'm not trying to trivialize).

Then the announcer said something like: See's Candies is one of the oldest and largest candy companies in the world.

I know this may sound cynical, but doesn't this seem like great PR for See's? I'd never heard of them before the recall and now I know they are a renown candy company. And I don't think any less of them for accidentally mixing in some milk (if it were formaldehyde that would be different). In terms of losses, how many people to you really think returned their bag of chocolate for fear of dreaded traces of milk?!

It just struck me that as long as they don't get sued by someone with a milk allergy, they would have to pay huge money to get the extensive press they'll get from this recall.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Schiavoni Files Endorses Obama

A lot of people have been asking my thoughts on the presidential election.

Until now I haven't been too public about my strong support for Obama. I think this is because I have had a lot of feminist guilt surrounding my decision.

But here's why Obama is my guy:

Yes, their policy positions are similar. But Hillary's "experience" will make her more effective at Governing right? Wrong. I don't believe Hillary's “experience” is going to translate into better policy. Honestly, I have a hard time believing either one of them will get anything done at least during their first term. Obama because he's too green, and Hillary because she will be looking to the next election, playing it safe, continuing to listen to her pollsters and consultants who tell her she must be tough and unwavering to compensate for being a woman (think cluster bomb and Iranian Gevolutionary Guard votes).

Obama, on the other hand, may take a little while to get up to speed on how to govern effectively, but he will still represent a fundamental change in leadership for this country. Him even just sitting in the oval office will do so much to heal the domestic and international wounds of the last eight years. Also, the fact that Obama has come this far and has built the team he has (including campaign and endorsements), means that he does have an uncanny ability to bring in talent, make good decisions, and execute.

Obama will be stronger against McCain. Hillary is too polarizing to entice independents (and even some Democrats). McCain also will turn out independents and some Democrats who don't like Hillary. We will be forced to bank on him not being able to turn out his base (low voter turnout) to win. But don't forget that as much as the conservative base hates McCain now, they hate Hillary worse. Meanwhile, no one vehemently hates Obama. Obama will mobilize the Democratic base, independents, and a whole new generation of first time voters. McCain vs. Obama will be an exciting race about old vs. new instead of status quo vs. status quo.

I just talked with someone who hasn't voted Democrat in 16 years and he voted for Obama. But, if Hillary gets the nomination, he will vote for McCain in the General. I think there are a lot of others out there like this guy and not too many out there who voted for Hillary that wouldn't support Obama in the general.

Authenticity matters to voters.
Hillary, when she's authentic (like she was at the Jan. 31 debate), is amazing. But she's chosen again and again to play it safe and listen to her pollsters (again, I feel the need to bring up her annoying votes and inability to admit she made a mistake with her vote to authorize the war in Iraq). Also, this is not totally related to authenticity, but I felt her decision to trot out Bill after South Carolina (who shot his mouth off) made us all remember what it was that we didn't like about the Clinton administration. I just don't want another 8 years of that kind of divisive, highly calculating, Clintonista governing.

It does seem time for a new generation of leaders to step up, and Obama exemplifies the best of what we've got in the pipeline.

Monday, February 11, 2008


I always thought that political topics would dominate the contents of my blog, but lately, it's been my tales of random emergency procedures (see Spinal Tap and X-Ray for recent examples).

Well, I've got another one. And, similar to Spinal Tap, it wasn't that serious but because of negligent doctors, it sucked pretty bad. And I am feeling the need to vent again (so feel free to stop reading now because it's a kind of gross story and probably TMI).

So I woke up a few weekends ago with the worst pain in my belly. It was high up near my lungs. I started projectile vomiting and about 3 hours later I decided I couldn't stand it any longer and went to the hospital. UCSF. They wouldn't process me right away so I had to sit there vomiting in the waiting room which is always a pleasant. They finally took me back and did all sorts of tests. You need a CT to tell if you have an appendicitis (and a bunch of other things), but they told me I shouldn't get a it because there is a 1 in 200 chance of me getting cancer from it eventually.

They also said it was most likely stomach flu but if it was my appendix we could wait until it burst (he actually said that in Britain they won't operate unless it bursts--i've come to learn that you can easily die from sepsis when your appendix bursts).

So they sent me home. I stayed at home in agony for about 12 hours until the pain localized on my right side and Sep's friend Matt Ladra who is a resident at St. Mary's felt my belly and told me to come on in to his hospital where he was working later that night.

I went in, they did a CT, and found it was classic, massively infected appendix. And for the record, they were SO much nicer at St. Mary's than at UCSF.

Surgery was the next morning and went fine. But then it took me like 2 whole weeks to recover! It was ridiculous. I can't help but think if I hadn't been sick for 36 hours longer than I should have been that I would have recovered a lot easier.

Oh and this is a non sequitur but guess how much the hospital billed the insurance company for my 2 day hospital stay? $55,000. Isn't that insane? I'm still waiting to see what I'm going to have to kick in. I feel very lucky to have insurance. What do people without insurance do when they have an appendicitis?

Diagnosis: Our health care system is just all around messed up.