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US Health Care Bleeds $1T, But Can Be Saved

Preventative model could save taxpayers billions

(Newser) - What America needs is another preemptive strike, executives say—in the world of health care. As Barack Obama gears up to reform the industry, several health care leaders say that up to half of the nation's $2.3 trillion health budget is wasted. In a broad consensus, they call for...

US Dominance 'Fading Fast' as Global Upheaval Looms

Report predicts increasingly unstable world future as wealth and power shift

(Newser) - US intelligence agencies believe the next 20 years will be the twilight of America's global dominance, the Times of London reports. A report from the National Intelligence Council paints a bleak future of an increasingly unstable world in which new powers and alliances emerge as competition for dwindling resources heats...

Fisticuffs Over Security Deal End Session of Iraqi Parliament

Sadr ally allegedly shoves speaker

(Newser) - Discussion of the security deal between the US and Iraq deteriorated into a shouting match between members of the Iraqi parliament today, the New York Times reports. Parliament is scheduled to vote on the measure next week, but could not get through a reading of the agreement today before an...

As Football Scores in Mexico, Its Players Hope NFL Notices

League claims 20M fans south of border, but path to pro ranks is a tough one

(Newser) - Mexico isn’t known for loving football—the pigskin kind—but the sport is gaining popularity there, the Los Angeles Times reports. The NFL estimates it has 20 million Mexican fans, and with the game catching on at the high school and college level, players are pushing for more attention...

New 'Real' America Sheds Swagger for Idealism: Klein

Klein: Vote for Obama is "ratification" of new national identity

(Newser) - Hey, John McCain—welcome to the new Real America. Joe Klein writes in Time that Barack Obama’s victory isn’t just a changing of the guard, but fundamentally redefines how we think of the country. We’ve been living in Ronald Reagan’s America for years, writes Klein, nostalgic...

Mock Her at Your Peril: Palin Speaks Real American

Accent 'dissed' by elites is same tune favored by humble, common-sense majority

(Newser) - The discomfort Sarah Palin causes in liberals, and even many conservatives, stems from a fundamental disconnect between the educated elite and real America, Michael Novak writes in the National Review. Solid, humble citizens hear a familiar ring to Palin’s oft-mocked accent: “The same guts. The same common sense....

Reports of US Decline Greatly Exaggerated

Crises of confidence, finance haven't dimmed great-power status

(Newser) - Don’t believe the “faddish declinism” of naysayers arguing that America’s best days are behind her, Robert Kagan writes in the Washington Post. Francis Fukuyama and his ilk praise Barack Obama’s “realism” in facing the “post-American world,” but in reality, Obama’s rhetoric remains...

On Film, a Black President Is Nothing New

From 24 to The Fifth Element

(Newser) - America may be on the verge of electing its first black president, but pop culture is way ahead of reality. James Earl Jones portrayed the first in The Man (1972), and several have followed. As an entertainment-obsessed nation, asks Slate, might these fictional forebears affect our perception of the real...

Buffett: I'm Buying American. You Should Be, Too.

When fear is rampant, the markets discount America's future

(Newser) - “I’ve been buying American stocks,” Warren Buffett writes in the New York Times, and he'd like to see a stampede of others following suit. Sure, the financial system is a mess, global economies are faltering, unemployment is rising, and headlines will continue to terrorize markets. But markets...

Innocence, Bravado Are a Dangerous Mix

McCain's Alaskan choice invokes myth of 'the innocent American'

(Newser) - John McCain's choice of running mate invokes the one of our country's oldest and most seductive myths, the virtue of American innocence, Anthony Robinson writes in the Seattle P-I. Innocent of Old World wiles, Americans are thought to have "a combination of virtue, tenacity and practical knowledge that will...

Trouble the Water Vividly Mixes Katrina, Race
Trouble the Water Vividly Mixes Katrina, Race

Trouble the Water Vividly Mixes Katrina, Race

Documentary traces one couple's story through New Orleans disaster

(Newser) - Trouble the Water, a new documentary, is ostensibly about Hurricane Katrina, centered around home-video footage shot during the disaster by a resident of New Orleans’ Ninth Ward. But the film, which frames Kimberly Roberts’ footage within a larger context, transcends that one event to put forth a peerless discussion of...

US Women's Soccer Claims Gold
 US Women's Soccer Claims Gold

US Women's Soccer Claims Gold

Team beats Brazil 1-0 in extra time

(Newser) - The US women’s soccer team claimed Olympic gold today, besting Brazil 1-0 with a goal scored in extra time, the AP reports. Carli Lloyd scored the crucial goal, but goalkeeper Hope Solo was the star of the game, shutting down shot after shot from Brazil’s unrelenting offense. It...

Georgian War Lays Bare Bush Policy's Failures
Georgian War Lays Bare
Bush Policy's Failures

Georgian War Lays Bare Bush Policy's Failures

US encouraged Georgian bluster; provoked Russian paranoia

(Newser) - The Georgian war crystallizes the failure of the Bush administration's foreign policy, writes HDS Greenway in the Boston Globe. Besides the ready-made justification the Iraq war provides to any invading country, America has stoked Georgian boldness, "and now America's client is wiping blood from its nose," he writes....

We're Down, We're Really Down: Poll

76% of Americans say country is headed in wrong direction

(Newser) - Only 24% of Americans think the country is on the right track in a new CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll. That number is the lowest since 1980. The other times it has dipped below 30% were during Watergate, the Iran hostage crisis, and the economic slump of 1992. As recently as...

Keep the Hummer: Save America's Soul
Keep the Hummer:
Save America's Soul

Keep the Hummer: Save America's Soul

Yes, it's obnoxious; that's why we need it

(Newser) - Sure, the Hummer is more of a "cartoon" than a vehicle, a ridiculously over-the-top gas-guzzling monstrosity. But the unbridled optimism it takes to manufacture it—and to fill up the tank—is what makes it uniquely American, writes Matthew DeBord in the Washington Post. If GM axes it, or,...

One for the Books: Ben Franklin Weds Betsy Ross

A history-based love is consecrated in Philadelphia

(Newser) - Betsy Ross married Benjamin Franklin last night at Philadelphia’s Independence Hall, in what probably seemed to many onlookers as a bit of historical fantasy in honor of July 4th, the Inquirer reports. But this was not acting: The couple was Linda Wilde and Ralph Archbold, two of Philadelphia’s...

Dig Finds Washington's Home (No Cherry Tree)

Archaeologists excavate boyhood home of founding father

(Newser) - Archaeologists have found the childhood home of George Washington, the New York Times reports—and despite the popular legend, there's no cherry tree anywhere on the premises. Researchers describe the founding father's Virginia digs as “a very nice gentry house” sporting eight rooms—not the simple cottage pictured in...

Candidates Exploit Muslim-Jewish Divide
 Candidates Exploit
 Muslim-Jewish Divide 

Candidates Exploit Muslim-Jewish Divide

McCain and Obama insulting Muslims to gain favor with Jewish voters

(Newser) - The presidential candidates are ignoring—even insulting—American Muslims in the hope of grabbing the Jewish vote, write Salam Al-Marayati and Steven B. Jacobs in the Los Angles Times. McCain and Obama have on several occasions snubbed Muslims, who seem to be the victims of modern McCarthyism—just substitute terrorism...

Oz Tops US As World's Fattest
 Oz Tops US As World's Fattest 

Oz Tops US As World's Fattest

26% of Australians obese, to 25% of Americans; 9M of Aussies too heavy

(Newser) - Australia is the fattest nation in the world, the Age reports. A new study says body-mass index measurements pegs 4 million people—26% of the nation's population—as obese, narrowly beating the US, where 25% are obese. An additional 5 million Aussies are classified as overweight—with the usual suspects...

Foreign Investment in Iraq Up
 Foreign Investment in Iraq Up 

Foreign Investment in Iraq Up

American firms may miss early opportunities

(Newser) - European and Asian investors are taking advantage of the recently stabilized Iraqi business climate, USA Today reports. US firms still regard Iraq as too dangerous to invest in, but that attitude may cost them the best opportunities. The firms “who are getting in on the ground floor are not...

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