Repubs Get Outta Town
Democrats in the US, having received most of the votes cast, lost in the Senate, but won control of the House of Congress. The meaning of this is whatever you want it to be for the purposes of public discussion. But, just here, between us, it means that gerrymandering effectively contained voter's will but couldn't stop it completely. One striking result is that the Republicans now hold no urban districts anywhere in the US. Expect a lot of talk about guns, god and gays for the next two years from them.
The Taoiseach said something noteworthy- he specifically said that "previous standard winter plans including additional home help, home care and transitional care had not worked." His diagnosis for this failure? Christmas holidays- by nurses and doctors. His solution: "nurses and other medical professionals should not be on extended holidays over Christmas and the first two weeks of January to ensure that every hospital bed is open"
Missing context: Set aside the lack of evidence that hospital overcrowding is caused by seasonal leave. The impact of this policy will fall disproportionately on workers from abroad- in particular from distant climes. To make the long haul flights to families makes sense, extended leave is the only leave they take. One Nurse on twitter also pointed out the meaning of precluding Jan leave (@NursePollyRGN) "many of our non Christian colleagues work all through the Xmas & new year and take leave from the 7th for their own celebrations, so if we deny them leave in January, who will work Xmas in their place ?"
The Irish medical system ceases to function if it stops being an attractive place to work for foreign nurses and doctors. The HSE may discover that medical staff aren't just for Christmas, they're for life.