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President Barack Obama told the American Medical Association yesterday that he believes single-payer health care systems have worked “pretty well” in some countries, but no major U.S. newspaper available in the Nexis database reported the president’s comment in their news stories about the speech. However, three of the nation’s most prestigious newspapers—the Washington Post, the New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times— did publish quotes from the president’s speech that artfully took language from both immediately before and after the president’s statement that single-payer systems work. “I’ll be honest,” Obama said in his speech to the AMA, “there are countries where a single-payer system works pretty well.” A search of the terms “Obama,” “single-payer,” and “pretty well” in the “Major Newspapers” file of Nexis turned up no hits as of 3:00 PM on Tuesday, June 16. –“Major Papers Expunge Obama’s Comment: ‘I’ll be honest, there are countries where a single-payer system works pretty well’”, Terence P. Jeffrey, CNSNews.com
Of its nature, this is a discourse of division: some enjoy advantages that others do not, and there is no defensible reason for their fortune and our want. Elementary thoughts, but novelties in the establishment politics of the Federal Republic. There, the leitmotif has always been, and remains, consensus— the unity of all sensible citizens around a prosperous economy and a pacified state, without social conflicts or structural contradictions. No other political system in post-war Europe is so ideologically gun-shy, averse to any expression of sharp words or irreconcilable opinions; so devoted to banality and blandness. The quest for respectability after 1945, federal checks and balances, the etiquette of coalitions, all have contributed to making a distinctively German style of politics, an unmistakable code of high-minded, sententious conformism. This was not, of course, a mere ideological mannerism. It reflected the reality of a bipartisan— Christian and Social Democratic— convergence on a corporatist model of development, designed to square all interests: naturally, each according to their station, or Mitbestimmung writ large, as a charter for social harmony. –“A New Germany?” by Perry Anderson, New Left Review
SHOULD THE ELEVATOR DOORS FAIL TO OPEN
DO NOT BECOME ALARMED.
THIS ELEVATOR CONTAINS ENOUGH AIR FOR ONE
PERSON TO SURVIVE FOR UP TO NINETY MINUTES.
DIVIDE NINETY BY THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE IN THIS
ELEVATOR TO DETERMINE GROUP SURVIVAL TIME.
ELEVATOR COMPANIES ARE ON CALL SO THERE IS
LITTLE DANGER YOU WILL HAVE TO DRAW STRAWS.
–“Foundation Announces 12th Annual Dumb-Warning List,” Kevin Underhill, Lowering the Bar
Fleming awoke in the dark and his room felt loose, sloshing so badly he gripped the bed. From his window there was nothing but a hallway, and if he craned his neck, a blown lightbulb swung into view. The room pitched up and down and for a moment he thought he might be sick. The word “hallway” must have a nautical name. Why didn’t they supply a glossary for this cruise? Probably they had, in the welcome packet he’d failed to read. A glossary. A history of the boat, which would be referred to as a ship. Sunny biographies of the captain and crew, who had always dreamed of this life. Lobotomized histories of the islands they’d visit. Who else had sailed this way. Famous suckwads from the past, slicing through this very water on wooden longships.
A welcome packet, the literary genre most likely to succeed in the new millennium. Why not read about a community you don’t belong to, that doesn’t actually exist, a captain and crew who are, in reality, if that isn’t too much of a downer on your vacation, as indifferent to one another as any set of co-employees at an office or bank? Read doctored personal statements from underpaid crew members — because ocean life pays better than money! — who hate their lives but have been forced to buy into the mythology of working on a boat, separated now from loved ones and friends, growing lonelier by the second, even while they wait on you and follow your every order.
Rank of Detroit among major U.S. cities whose residents give the largest portion of their income to charity:
A South Dakota researcher concluded that only scant blood spatter results when chain saws are used to dismember pigs.
Four people were arrested for using a remote-controlled hexacopter to fly two pounds of tobacco to prisoners inside the yard at Calhoun State Prison in Georgia.
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Our congratulations to Alice Munro, winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature