So, what do you think about those Medicare numbers? What, you haven’t heard about them? Well, they haven’t been front-page news. But something remarkable has been happening on the health-spending front, and it should (but probably won’t) transform a lot of our political debate.
….. Health spending has slowed sharply, and it’s already well below projections made just a few years ago. The falloff has been especially pronounced in Medicare, which is spending $1,000 less per beneficiary than the Congressional Budget Office projected just four years ago.
…. What’s the moral here? For years, pundits and politicians have insisted that guaranteed health care is an impossible dream, even though every other advanced country has it. Covering the uninsured was supposed to be unaffordable; Medicare as we know it was supposed to be unsustainable. But it turns out that incremental steps to improve incentives and reduce costs can achieve a lot, and covering the uninsured isn’t hard at all.
When it comes to ensuring that Americans have access to health care, the message of the data is simple: Yes, we can.
Washington Post: U.S. airstrikes help Iraqi forces break Islamic State’s siege
Iraqi troops and militias aided by U.S. airstrikes broke through a two-month siege of the town of Amerli on Sunday, opening up a humanitarian corridor to thousands of Shiite Turkmen who had been trapped by Sunni militants and deprived of food, water, and medicine.
“Amerli has been liberated,” said Mahdi Taqi, a local official who spoke by phone from inside the town after the army had entered. “There is so much joy and people are cheering in the streets.”
Sunni militants from the Islamic State group, which seized much of northern Iraq in June, had surrounded Amerli, cutting off access to supplies and electricity.
Carol Anderson (Washington Post): Ferguson isn’t about black rage against cops. It’s white rage against progress
When we look back on what happened in Ferguson, Mo., during the summer of 2014, it will be easy to think of it as yet one more episode of black rage ignited by yet another police killing of an unarmed African American male. But that has it precisely backward. What we’ve actually seen is the latest outbreak of white rage. Sure, it is cloaked in the niceties of law and order, but it is rage nonetheless.
Protests and looting naturally capture attention. But the real rage smolders in meetings where officials redraw precincts to dilute African American voting strength or seek to slash the government payrolls that have long served as sources of black employment. It goes virtually unnoticed, however, because white rage doesn’t have to take to the streets and face rubber bullets to be heard. Instead, white rage carries an aura of respectability and has access to the courts, police, legislatures and governors, who cast its efforts as noble, though they are actually driven by the most ignoble motivations.
Pete Souza: “Prior to the start of their working dinner during the Middle East negotiations, President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel check their watches to see if it is officially sunset. During Ramadan, fasting continues throughout the day until after sunset.” Sept. 1, 2010 (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama in Sioux City, IA, September 1, 2012
President Obama in Des Moines, September 1, 2012 (Photo by Scout Tufankjian)
How the constant chorus of ‘do something’ Obama foreign policy critics gets it wrong
There is a fun foreign policy game making all the rounds in Washington D.C. this summer: Pin the tail on Barack Obama.
Its appeal is not hard to understand; it’s so easy to play.
Step 1: Pick a foreign crisis that touches even slightly on U.S. national security interests. This shouldn’t be hard, because the United States defines practically everything in the world as being an American interest.
Step 2: Make clear that this is no garden-variety problem but rather “the defining crisis of [OBAMA'S] presidency”……
….. Step 6: Publish your condemnation in a major newspaper or news outlet. Wait for a phone call from a booker with a Sunday morning talk show.
There are no points for understanding how international relations work, how U.S. power is actually utilized or how other countries interpret their own interests. There’s no space on the board for tracking the real-life impact of your recommendations.
Foreign policy stewardship would be easy if it were as simple as playing this game. If, as President Obama joked recently, America “control(led) everything around the world,” there wouldn’t be much to decide at all.
I, and many Americans, have had it up to our eyeballs with greedy Military Industrial Complex shills like Dianne Feinstein!! What the hell is wrong with these MIC stooges, regardless of party affiliation? And Dianne Feinstein’s incessant disrespect towards the leader of her own party and President of this country is all the more unforgivable! Did she stop to look in the mirror to examine that her own shortsighted votes in Congress metastasized the deep canker tearing the Middle East apart? Or worse that her greedy actions to shovel taxpayer $$$ to defense contractors like her husband have nasty consequences?
How many Americans does she want DEAD and MAIMED just when President Obama has toiled to clean up the mess of the last blunder of a war under George Bush, that she voted for? It is bad enough that we have war snake oil salesmen McCain, Graham and Mike Rogers preening daily in front of cameras without being held accountable for their dangerous and always inconsistent warmongering statements. They wanted us arming ISIS to the teeth in Syria last year. Now they turn around and Chicken Little about ISIS in Iraq means the Caliphate is at America’s doorstep!! Sheesh!!
How about we get a buy-in from the many factions inside the strained powder keg that is Iraq, especially Sunnis who are vital to any strategy to root out ISIS? They must be assured that their interests are better served in a national coalition with Shia and Kurds AGAINST ISIS precisely because ISIS is claiming to act on their behalf having been shut out of power by Al Maliki’s government. That delicate cultivation of a NATIONAL front against the terrorists is EXACTLY what President Obama is working on in order to neutralize the potential for BLOWBACK that sustained military action against ISIS could generate. But NO!!! Dianne Feinstein finds cheap thrill in playing to the cameras of our moribund media. The conniving media then latches onto her words like they did Hillary’s 3 weeks ago to malign President Obama.
On This Day: President Barack Obama, photographed from South Lawn of the White House, delivers an address to the nation from the Oval Office on the end of the combat mission in Iraq, Aug. 31, 2010 (Photo by Lawrence Jackson)
@USAinUK: President Obama will be the 1st sitting U.S. President to visit Wales when he arrives for #NATOSummitUK
The President will travel to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to deliver remarks at Laborfest 2014 at Henry Maier Festival Park
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The President will travel to the Republic of Estonia where he will remain overnight in Tallinn
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The President will meet with employees and family members of the United States Embassy to Estonia. He will then visit the Kadriorg Palace to participate in the official arrival ceremony, where he will be greeted by President Ilves of Estonia.
Later in the morning, the President will hold a bilateral meeting while at the Palace.
In the afternoon, he will visit the Bank of Estonia to participate in a joint press conference with President Ilves.
Following the press conference, the President will visit the Stenbok House to meet with Prime Minister Roivas.
Later, he will visit the Kadriorg Art Museum to meet with the three Baltic presidents – President Ilves, President Berzins of Latvia, and President Grybauskaite of Lithuania.
In the evening, the President will deliver remarks at the Nordea Concert Hall to students, young professionals, and civil society and political leaders.
Following his speech, the President will deliver remarks to U.S. and Estonian troops at the Tallinn Airport Hangar.
Later in the evening, he will travel to Newport, Wales, where he will remain overnight.
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The President will take an official family photo with leaders attending the NATO Summit at Celtic Manor Resort in Newport.
He will then join NATO leaders for the first session on Afghanistan, followed by a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission.
The President will attend a working dinner on security challenges at historic Cardiff castle and will remain overnight in Wales.
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The President will view a fly-over ceremony and then attend two more working sessions on the Future NATO and the Transatlantic Bond.
In the afternoon, the President will hold a press conference and then depart Wales en route Washington, DC.
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Ten Things You Need To Know About Wales
1 It has a village with the longest place name in Europe – and the second longest official place name in the world (FURST1!1! goes to Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu in New Zealand).
Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch translates as “The church of St Mary in the hollow of white hazel trees near the rapid whirlpool by St. Tysilio’s of the red cave”.
But if you ever have to send a letter to someone in Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, don’t worry – just do what the locals do: call it Llanfair PG
2 It has the greatest national anthem on planet earth
3 One of the best things about Wales is that it’s so close to Ireland :cool:
4 Only one in five Welsh people can speak their native language – and when you watch this video, you’ll understand why. It’s impossible.
Eg, If you want to say “please speak more slowly” to a Welsh person: “Siaradwch yn arafach, os gwelwch yn dda.”
Fortunately for President Obama, ‘Hello” is “Helô“.
5 Wales has more castles per square mile than anywhere else in the world. Ireland would have that record if they hadn’t burnt down half of them after the English left.
6 There are four times more sheep in Wales than humans.
7 Hannibal Lecter comes from Wales. Well, Anthony Hopkins does.
8 Welsh mathematician Robert Recorde (1512-1558) invented the equal sign. If you knew that already, you should be ashamed.
9 Mount Everest was named after Welsh man Sir George Everest who was Surveyor-General of India from 1830 to 1843, so he’d have known a young Amk.
10 The Welsh adore rugby (kind of American Football without the pads) – but people are often quite rude about their other favorite things.