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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

oy vey 

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Kevin Drum Says:


HEALTHCARE: STILL A PROBLEM....To absolutely no one's surprise, overall healthcare costs rose at a breathtaking rate yet again last year. Healthcare now accounts for 16% of U.S. GDP, compared to about 10-11% in our nearest competitor.

And what do we get for all that dough? Not much. Healthcare quality rose only marginally, which means we still suck on virtually every aspect of healthcare compared to industrialized countries with sane national healthcare policies.

But it could be worse. And for a lot of people it is. As the Washington Post chart above shows (taken from the National Healthcare Disparities Report), if you're black, native American, Hispanic, or poor, your healthcare sucks even worse than if you're middle class and white.


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Iraq has vast hydrocarbon potential that could rival major producers such as Saudi Arabia and Russia, but United States government analysts are predicting that Iraqi oil production development will remain thwarted for years to come.

Its enormous reserves of an estimated 115-billion barrels of proven crude are the world's third largest after those of the Saudi Kingdom and Canada.

As of December 2005, Iraqi net oil production was averaging a modest 1,9-million barrels per day (bpd) according to the latest country report on Iraq compiled by the US government's Energy Information Agency (EIA).

Oil in Iraq choked off for years

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It is high time that this question was ventilated by people other than British editors and journalists who labor under the repressive conditions of the Official Secrets Act. Al Jazeera is not describable, perhaps, as a strictly objective station, but it is the main source of news in the Arab world because it is not the property of any state or party, and it has given live and unedited coverage of things like the elections in Iraq. In 2001, its office in Afghanistan was destroyed by "smart" bombs. In 2003, its correspondent in Baghdad was killed in an American missile strike. If it becomes widely believed that it has been or is being targeted, the consequences in the region will be rather more than Karen Hughes' "public diplomacy" can handle.

Hitchens Says Come Clean

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