More on health care: NYT, “Deep in Health Bill, Very Specific Beneficiaries” (h/t Josh) – the article isn’t very direct about the amount of pork that this bill is; see Jay Cost, “Democrats risk another Jacksonian Moment” for the truer story. Only the end of the nytimes article comes clean: “You’ve got to compliment Ben Nelson for playing ‘The Price is Right,’ ” said Senator Richard M. Burr, Republican of North Carolina. “He negotiated a Medicaid agreement for Nebraska that puts the federal government on the hook forever. Not for six years, not for 10 years. This isn’t the Louisiana Purchase; this is the Nebraska windfall.”
NYT, “At Japanese Cliffs, A Campaign to Combat Suicide” (h/t Josh) – from the article: As an officer stationed at Tojimbo at the end of his 42-year career, he said he was appalled by all the bodies he had to pluck out of the sea. He said he once stopped an elderly couple from Tokyo from jumping and turned them over to city officials who he said gave them money and told them to buy a ticket to the next town. Days later he received a letter from the couple, mailed just before they committed suicide in a neighboring prefecture. “The authorities’ coldness outraged me,” said Mr. Shige, whose cellphone rings to the tune of “Amazing Grace,” though he is not religious. He now has 77 volunteers patrolling the cliffs and providing food, lodging and assistance in finding work to those it helps. He said they tried to patrol two or three times a day.