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I hope readers take the time to read David Leonhardt’s terrific Sunday New York Times Magazine piece on Intermountain Healthcare. It is a great introduction to the changes that organized medicine must adopt to deliver team- and evidence-based care. (I wish we used the term evidence informed treatment, which brings fewer connotations of cookie-cutter care.) This transition requires changes in the way doctors and hospitals are paid. It also requires changing medical professional culture to embrace a team approach.

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Looking at the GDP numbers last week, I wondered about possible sources of sustained GDP growth, given that so much of what drove the 3.5% third-quarter figure were one-off boosts like cash-for-clunkers. Well, today's Wall Street Journal has the beginning of an answer: Corporate cash stockpiles. Here's the Journal: In the second quarter, the 500 largest nonfinancial U.S. firms, by total assets, held about $994 billion in cash and short-term investments, or 9.8% of their assets, according a Wall Street Journal analysis of corporate filings.

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Could Evan Bayh be backing off his threat to join the Republican filibuster of the health care reform bill?

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Is it curtains for the strong public option? Over the past week, the White House has taken a lot of heat for not going to bat for it, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has reportedly just decided that the Senate bill will include a watered-down proposal that would allow states to opt out of a national public plan.

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Things Come Together

The Thing Around Your Neck By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Knopf, 218 pp., $24.95)   In “Jumping Monkey Hill,” the most wicked story in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s new collection, a group of young writers selected from all over Africa have gathered for a workshop at a fancy resort outside Cape Town--”the kind of place,” thinks Ujunwa, the representative Nigerian, “where . . .

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There were more than 100 others wounded in the 2008 Palestinian rocket attack on the doctor's clinic.  She herself has had eight surgeries on her face.  Goldstone doesn't give a damn. There were more that 100. (Pictured: Rocket attack victim, Dr. Mirela Siderer, testifying before UN.) From UN Watch:  "Why Didn't You Tell Me U.N. Council Declared Israel Guilty From the Start? Why Did You Humiliate Me?" Geneva, September 29, 2009 - The U.N.

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Understanding the construct we call Nature.

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Qaddafi at the U.N.

Today was arguably the United Nations at its best. I know that sounds odd, since the day was dominated by the insane musings of Muammar Qaddafi.

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More evidence for the idea that policymakers see "winning" in Afghanistan and an end in and of itself: The new head of the British Army, General Sir David Richards, also warned last night that Nato had yet to find the right formula for success in Afghanistan. General Richards also warned that defeat for the international coalition would have an “intoxicating impact” on extremists around the world.

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The Chesapeake Bay is a mess. For decades now, fertilizer run-off from nearby suburbs and farms has been spilling into the water, triggering immense algae blooms that have been depleting underwater oxygen and creating giant "dead zones" that kill off marine life en masse. And it's not getting any better: The EPA has launched a number of cleanup initiatives over the years—the first one as far back as 1983—and all have failed. So, on Thursday, when the EPA issued yet another series of reports on a plan to clean up the bay, observers could be forgiven for being skeptical.

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