January 11, 2005

Total health spending in 2003 rose 7.7% to $1.7 trillion or 15.3% of the U.S. gross domestic product. Our health care spending in the U.S. is now greater than the total GDP of all but 5 countries in the world. But, don't worry about any of that. Social Security is the really big, important crisis-du-jour.

A new CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll shows Bush's job approval rating at 52%. 75% approve of his handling of the Tsunami disaster, but only 42% for the war in Iraq. 52% disapprove of his handling of Social Security, with just 18% agreeing with the president's characterization of Social Security as a system in crisis. Amazingly, 40% believe the war is going well for American forces. In a related story, 4 in 10 Americans get all of their news directly from White House press releases.

Bob Cringely reviews some of his technology related predictions for 2004 and makes 15 more for 2005.

The recent storms in California are now blamed for 12 deaths including 3 from a massive mud slide [video]. 21 people are still missing. Some areas have received more than 2 feet of rain. Fortunately, no one was in the way of this 25 foot high boulder.

Fortune has released its annual list of the best 100 companies to work for in America. Wegmans Food Markets topped the list, followed by Gore-Tex fabric maker W.L. Gore. Donald "You're Fired!" Trump didn't make the list.

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