I Became Gradually Impoverished While Reading This Article

(bolding for emphasis mine)

Missouri Lt Gov Kinder wants to receive daily allowance

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) _ Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder wants more money for doing his job.

The Republican officeholder is asking legislators to put money in the budget for a daily expense allowance when he is working in Jefferson City.

Kinder lives in Cape Girardeau and maintains a second home in Jefferson City.

He receives an annual salary of about $86,000. But Kinder says he’s experienced “gradual impoverishment” during his decade in office.

His salary is less than other statewide executive officials, but well more than the $36,000 that legislators receive.

One of the lieutenant governor’s duties is to preside over the Senate. Kinder wants to receive the same allowance that legislators get, which is $103 a day. He’s seeking a per diem whenever he’s in Jefferson City, not just when the Legislature meets.

So a couple of outraged points here. You know how the biggest argument against raising the pathetic minimum wage we have in this country is “if you don’t like what the job pays, go do something else?” Well, I fail to see how that logic doesn’t apply here. According to Republican bootstrap logic, some jobs aren’t designed to make you wealthy – some jobs aren’t even designed to let eat regular meals! So if Kinder is unhappy with his salary and thinks he has the skills to get paid more elsewhere he should move on. Simple. Arguing that his job is Important Work and he really feels compelled to do it For The Greater Good (like firefighting, teaching, police work or waitressing,) that’s not a good argument, clearly. Go where the money is, that’s the capitalist way.

Next – this is a guy who has conspicuously attempted to defraud Missouri taxpayers before, thinking that he’s entitled to live pretty swank on our dime and getting spanked for it a few years ago.

See:

JEFFERSON CITY • Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder says his campaign will repay the state for more than $35,000 in hotel bills in response to a Post-Dispatch story that revealed taxpayers picked up his tab while he attended sporting events, society galas and Tea Party rallies in and around St. Louis.

The newspaper reported Sunday that Kinder — a Republican widely expected to run for governor next year — spent an average of more than one night per week over the last five years at a hotel in St. Louis or St. Louis County courtesy of state taxpayers.

Those trips included mundane duties such as ribbon cuttings and award programs, but also charity balls hosted by his campaign contributors, a World Series party and the wedding of a political friend.

For real now? These shameless assholes. They don’t give a fuck. Not a single solitary one.

Next – this guy wants an extra $103 as a “per diem.” Per diem literally means “per day” and is meant to cover incidental expenses like meals and parking and sometimes accommodation.  So think about this: the current minimum wage in Missouri is $7.65. A person working an eight-hour day in Missouri would earn $61.20 pre-tax. This shameless windbag is asking to be gifted 160% of what a minimum wage worker earns in a whole day, just for his gods-damn meal and incidentals allowance.  He wants this ON TOP OF his regular salary of $86k, when the mean Missouri wage is $42k. Double the average, more than 5x what a minimum wage worker would earn, and yet he feels impoverished.

How? How does he have the effrontery, one wonders.

In addition (or due to) his stunning lack of insight on this topic, he’s a REPUBLICAN. He’s a republican in MISSOURI. You know that means that he spends most of his time plotting and planning to make life as difficult as possible for the average and/or poor person, filing lawsuits against healthcare reform, making abortion more difficult, trying to dis-empower unions, getting embroiled in stripper scandals, fessing up to not paying property taxes on  one of the three properties he owns in Cape Girardeau.

So, he’s become “gradually impoverished” while working for the government, maintaining two homes, and half the time staying at the Chase Park Plaza on my dime. How could he fix this impoverishment? What cost-cutting measures could he enact to allow him to scrape by on $86k per year?  Hell, I dunno, sell a house maybe? You’d have a spare. Eat more ramen. Do your own laundry? Go to fewer strip clubs? Golf less? Who the fuck knows, maybe ask your cleaning lady how she gets by, she might have tips.

Leave your cost-cutting and budgetary tips for Missouri Lt. Governor Peter Kinder in the comments.

I would not have expected that

Remember this bit of internet hilarity from a few years ago, where we all laughed at the original asker?

b2

Well check out this horrifying news story.

Girl born pregnant with two fetuses

Being born pregnant is so rare it has only been documented 200 times, but it does happen. Now researchers are reporting this week in the Hong Kong Medical Journal on the November 2010 case of a newborn girl thought to have two tumors in her abdomen that were found to be 8- to 10-week-old fetuses instead.

Weighing half an ounce and a third of an ounce, they were far enough along to each have four limbs, a spine, a rib cage, intestines, and an anus, and to be connected through an umbilical cord to a single placenta-like mass.

“Since it is impossible for the little girl to have conceived the pregnancy on her own, the fertilization of the twin fetuses, of course, belongs to her parents, which has gone to the wrong place,” a local doctor tells the South China Morning Post.

The Membranous Labyrinth

Second physical therapy appointment today. I am feeling still more dizzy than a normal person, but much less dizzy than I was before. I can now walk and do basic household things without thinking l am going to fall over. My PT performed the Epley maneuver on me once today, then gave me more home exercises to do.

There are cool posters of the inner ear on the wall there, so I snapped some shots of them so that you could see what all is going on inside my head.  (It’s BPPV in case you haven’t been following along. More info here.)

So this is the big picture, the overview of the inner ear.
So this is the big picture, the overview of the inner ear.

In this picture, your outer ear would be on the far right (out of frame) and everything we’re looking at here is inside your head. What we’re focusing on in my particular dysfunction is the blue part that looks vaguely like an octopus, with a bulbous base and various swoopy tentacles coming forth.

More close up view of the octopus part.
More close up view of the octopus part.

What we’re focusing on here is that #11 area, which is known as the utricle.

Inside the utricle is what looks like a stone wall you’d find in the Irish fields. Over time, stones (otoconia) can fall down from that wall, and they can travel from the utricle, where they do some good telling your head how to balance, to other parts of the year, the membranous ampulaa.

Here's the stone wall.
Here’s the stone wall.

So normally the stones in the correct area float around in some fluid and help with balance, but if they slip out of the utricle into the membranous ampulae (and into their fluid)  they smash around and bump into things, giving your brain strange signals like “Evidently you’re on a roller coaster!” or “whee we’re upside down!” even when you’re sitting still in a chair, or you just tilted your head back to take a drink of water.

No one knows what some of these stones decide to go joyriding, sometimes it can happen after a bump to the head, and sometimes it can happen after surgery if there is trauma to the ear, or if the head is in a weird position for a long time. Sometimes it can happen after a long period of bed rest. Anyway, it affects 2.4% of the population at some point in their lives. 

My PT says that all of the parts of the inner ear that we’re talking about are less than half of the tip of your little finger in size. It’s amazing that such small things can affect your life in such a profound way. The human body sometimes seems much to complex for its own good.

Anyway, that’s what’s up with me, I thought you’d enjoy the illustrations.

In the Mouth of Vestibular Madness

Just a quick update – yes, still vertigo. Saw the ENT last week, she says it’s 99% sure BPPV (contrary to the reports from the balance testing, so that makes the balance testing pretty much a giant waste of time?) and they don’t think an in-office Epley maneuver will do it for me, so they are sending me to PT for various adjustments and brain retraining, it sounds like. First appt tomorrow morning.

Dizziness has now regressed so that it’s not constant when I walk, but only when I turn too suddenly, bend over, tilt my head back or look to the right. That is a huge improvement, though it’s still a giant pain in the bumhole. I am mostly fine in the house, because I can be barefoot (being barefoot has always helped my balance.) but I ran to Local Harvest for some milk yesterday, and my head was spinning wildly in the store, it was gross.

So, that’s where I am with that. Woop woop.

Vertigo-go-go-away

Today is three weeks that I’ve had near constant vertigo. Yes, it still sucks.

After many phone calls and much faxing of records I finally have an appointment next week for balance testing and a follow up with an ENT.

I’ve also been experiencing recurring nausea, stomach upset, severe pressure headaches and extreme shortness of breath and shakiness when I try to do anything more strenuous than walk to the bathroom. I’ve also got really bad leg cramps.

I’ve had basic labs/bloodwork done (all normal!) an EKG (so normal!) and an ultrasound of my leg from groin to ankle, to rule out thrombosis. (normal!)

Theories are BPPV (still) brain tumor (“It doesn’t present like a typical brain tumor.”) Blood clots that I am “throwing” and which are settling in my lungs, causing the shortness of breath. Also my doctor asked me every woman’s favorite question “Have you been under a lot of stress recently?”

I just burst into tears. Yes. For sure it’s all in my head because: stress.

My personal theories have to do with some kind of gut bacteria or parasite I picked up from somewhere. I think someone should analyze my poop. I might ask about that next visit.

In the meantime, I stagger everywhere clutching walls, I sleep 10 hours a night, I watch a lot of TV. I actually think the leg cramps might be a side effect of my body working so hard to keep me upright. Dunno. I think I am doing a decent job of keeping my shit together so the casual observer wouldn’t know what kind of shitstorm is going on inside me. It’s bad enough to feel awful, it’s worse to have other people see that you can’t even act right.

It’s very (jesus what’s another word for depressing) to be once-again mostly immobile and feel unwilling to do anything. I am starting to think I will never feel well again in my life, and understand why quality of life is such a big deal in end-of-life conversations. Because what good is staying in the world if you can’t navigate it? I mean, at this point I can’t even really read much, because it bothers my eyes and makes me really tired.

So, that’s what’s up. I expect to know more by Wed afternoon next, and until then I plan to mostly sleep.

Here's where I weigh in.