Photo of the day

Alan Taylor has put together a set from this year’s Smithsonian photo contest.  Lots of amazing photos here– hard to pick a favorite.  As a dog lover, I do find this one pretty irresistible, though:

Ranch dog taking a break from work, by Jamie Illian of Dallas, Texas. Photographed in April of 2011, in Ellsworth, Nebraska. (©

Blame Canada

How do you know when a group opposing any kind of health care reform should not be taken seriously?  When they keep on using Canada as the health care bogeyman.  By most metrics, Canada’s system of government run universal health insurance does better than what happens here.  Like most all other systems, it is massively more cost effective for equivalent health outcomes.  That said, Canada has some real issues with waiting times and physician availabaility.  But you know what?  Many other advanced nations with affordable universal care do not suffer from these same problems.  That’s why the anti health care Luddites always like to bash Canada.  Yeah, we are a woeful 37th in WHO health system rankings, but Canada is only 30th.  There’s a reason the health reform opponents don’t try to make comparisons to France, Japan, or the Netherlands.  Anyway, some of the anti-reform zealots have unleashed a ridiculous campaign in the Washington subway system:

In the heat of a US presidential election year, with Americans immune to the polarized and bitter nature of political discourse, it takes a lot to shock them, especially in Washington.

But one ad at a DC Metro station — which starts off criticizing Obama’s health care reforms and ends up telling the president to “go to hell” — goes beyond the pale, says Jim Moran, a Democratic congressman from Virginia.

The advertisement is for “Sick and Sicker: When the Government Becomes Your Doctor,” a documentary that interviews Canadian doctors and patients in the hope of showing how dangerous “Obamacare” is for the American people.

Oh and by the way, we already have a single-payer government health insurer for many Americans.  It’s called Medicare and people love it.

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