Feed on

A ride back home

John Mellencamp:

Wake up

Arcade Fire and David Bowie:

You’re gonna make me lonesome when you go

Shawn Colvin covers Dylan:

A tramp on the street

Joan Baez:

Troy Davis

Last-minute stay reprieve granted while SCOTUS reviews case.


Protest against banks to show solidarity with #OccupyWallStreet.

See pictures here.

Why I heart Elizabeth Warren

Just listen:

Give peace a chance

John Baer offers this column in the Philadelphia Daily News for United Nations Peace Day:

A startling “Costs of War” study, recently released by the Eisenhower Research Project, at Brown University, says our government low-balls war costs, and by a bunch.

Figures most often cited by Washington, Obama and the General Accounting Office are $1 trillion to $1.3 trillion.

The Brown study, a comprehensive examination and estimate of the full and ongoing price, put together by 20 economists, anthropologists, lawyers and humanitarians, says that it’s at least $3.7 trillion and climbing to $4.4 trillion.

Government accounting, the study says, is just too narrow to measure everything.

Catherine Lutz, a Brown research professor and the “Costs of War” project co-director, tells me that the Pentagon and GAO report only “direct” or “special war” allocations.

There are other costs that are basically hidden.
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Read it and weep

Brad DeLong reads Suskind’s new book and discovers that Obama is actually a Republican.


There’s a lot to say, not the least of which is the fact that the president seems to have been remarkably hostile to any discussion of trying to do another stimulus when it was obvious the first wasn’t doing what was needed. (And evidently he particularly didn’t want to hear any more about it from someone who didn’t have a penis in her pocket.)

In the excerpt about the “jobless recovery” Suskind reports that when the administration was informed of the potential for unemployment at 9.8% in 2010, Obama was pensive, knowing that the midterms could be a bloodbath and he asked for some input. (Apparently he prefers “pro and con” lists rather than detailed analysis or charts, which seems oddly Bushian.) In any case, he was apparently unmoved by the various scenarios, passively saying he hoped the rosier scenarios came to pass and that was that.

It certainly does clear up any thought we might have had about whether or not the president is a real fiscal conservative or whether he was just flogging this deficit obsession for political effect. He’s a true believer. And we know this because of his reliance on other deficit hawks and because when the political bloodbath the jobless recovery had predicted came true, his first move was to validate the Republicans’ manufactured narrative about what had motivated their voters and launch his program of budget cuts and deficit reduction.

I have thought that his fetish for a Grand Bargain was mostly born of a delusional belief that he was someone who could bridge unbridgeable differences and be remembered as the man who brought cats and dogs together. But it looks as though he was just as motivated by the fact that he’s a true blue, Concord Coalition, Pete Peterson deficit hawk.

Told ya.


Dear God, make it stop:

Are you having chest pain, a possible miscarriage, shortness of breath or abdominal pain? You should head into the emergency room and get that checked out.

Well, unless you are poor.

In an effort to cut back on Medicaid costs, the state of Washington is proposing a new set of “non-emergent” conditions that are no longer are covered if you go into the emergency room too many times in one year. Among those new “not an emergency” symptoms are excessive bleeding due to possible miscarriage, pain that could indicate severe appendicitis or organ failure or the tell-tale signs of the beginnings of a heart attack.

Under the new system, if you are a Medicaid patient you are allowed three “non-emergent” visits to an emergency room each year, otherwise, you need to either see your primary care provider (whenever you can manage to make an appointment with him or her) or you can have your claim denied and be forced to cover the full costs out of pocket.

But don’t worry, the system isn’t totally heartless. There are a few exceptions to the “three visits then you’re done” rule. If you happen to die in the E.R., they won’t turn down your final claim.

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