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Mr. Know It All

Kelly Clarkson:

Johnny Appleseed

Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros:

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What Susie said. (via Avedon.)

Oh, and what Ian said, too.

Dump the bosses off your back

The late, great Utah Phillips:

Why vegetarianism will not save the world

Hmm. This former vegan says being a locavore is much better for the planet than being a vegetarian, and better for your health, too. Pretty interesting piece.

This is the same position taken by my local urban farm: It’s better to buy local food than far-away organic. Discuss!

Fall Creek boys choir

James Blake and Bon Iver:


Not a left-wing fantasy.

Trade agreement

Now here’s one I could get behind!

Quiet nights

Diana Krall:

The campaign

To raise the Medicare retirement age is picking up steam. Jon Walker at FDL:

It got a major push in July when Obama privately offered it up as part of a “grand bargain” on the debt ceiling with Speaker John Boehner.  It probably got another push in Obama’s jobs speech last night when the president suggested he still wants to change Medicare in a way “some in his party” won’t like.

The campaign also got a behind-the-scenes boost this week. First, the Democratic members of the House Ways and Means committee included raising the Medicare retirement age in a memo to the Super Committee outlining possible deficit reduction options. But more importantly, the powerful American Hospital Association came out in favor of it.

From Politico:

The American Hospital Association has a strategy for heading off any more Medicare payment cuts: Tell Congress to get the money from Medicare beneficiaries instead.  The association is urging its nearly 5,000 members to lobby Congress to raise the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67, in addition to other money-saving alternatives, according to spokeswoman Marie Watteau.

It is no surprise the hospital industry wants to see the change. Raising the Medicare retirement age means old people will be forced to buy overpriced private insurance instead. Private insurance pays hospitals more than Medicare because they lack Medicare’s market power. It is one of the few ways to cut the government’s Medicare spending while increasing profits for the health care industry — at the expense of older Americans.

We are seeing a convergence of deficit hysteria, a Democratic president who wants to have a “Nixon goes to China moment” with Medicare and powerful corporate lobbyists in pursuit of bigger profits.

Medicare is in serious danger and so is your wallet. This move will not just hurt those near retirement but would mean higher premiums for everyone on Medicare and millions of with private insurance.

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