If America has the best health care system in the world, as some people like to say, then the setups in other countries must really be crummy.
How come? Well, check out the disheartening results of a poll just out from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health. Fifty-five percent of adults surveyed gave the U.S. health care system a C or D, when asked to assign it a grade. Eleven percent gave it an F.
Spending on education, health, transportation and the environment took a big hit in the compromise budget deal agreed on last week, but accounting gimmicks also played a key role in the largest-ever cuts in U.S. domestic programs.
The cuts were targeted at programs ranging from FEMA grants to first responders and high-speed-rail projects, to assistance for low-income mothers and children and community AIDS initiatives.
The Pentagon says it is looking into reports from NBC News, the Los Angeles Times and some other news outlets that two American troops — "a U.S. Marine reservist and a Navy corpsman," according to NBC — were killed in Afghanistan last week by "friendly fire" from an American drone flying overhead.
A visit this week by Pakistan's spy chief, the head of that country's Inter-Services Intelligence agency, to CIA headquarters in Virginia has produced some interesting media reports about relations between the two countries' intelligence agencies.