Friday, January 30, 2009

Libertarian views on global warming: "Al Gore’s Climate of Extremes"

Al Gore’s Climate of Extremes, by Patrick J. Michaels
Planet Gore/NRO, Friday, January 30, 2009

Ho-hum. On January 28, in the midst of a pelting sleet storm, Al Gore told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the end is nigh from global warming.

He told the Senate that “some scientists” predict up to 11 degrees of warming in the next 91 years (while failing to note that the last 12 have seen exactly none), and that this would “bring a screeching halt to human civilization and threaten the fiber of life everywhere on earth”. Hey folks, this is serious!

Besides having a remarkable knack for scheduling big speeches on remarkably cold or snowy days (it’s known as the “Gore Effect” in journalistic circles), Gore has been incredibly ineffective in bringing his message home.

According to the New York Times, Gore told the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco last November, “I feel, in a sense, I’ve failed badly. . . . [T]here is not anything anywhere close to an appropriate sense of urgency [about global warming]. This is an existential threat.”

And fail he has. The Pew Foundation recently asked Americans to choose which of 20 prominent issues is of most importance. They included the economy, crime, education, and, of course, global warming, which came in dead last.

Gore’s failure is his own fault. He gained a reputation for exaggeration during his 2000 campaign, and he’s unable to shake it—because he’s proud of it, saying that it’s just fine to emphasize extreme global warming scenarios because they get people’s attention. Telling people you’re exaggerating isn’t exactly the way to get street cred. In Washington on January 28, his campaign continued.

The fact is that the “fiber of life” can be found on this planet over a range of 140°F, from Antarctica to the Death Valley. People actually live in these places. The average temperature of the planet is about 61°, a temperature at which Homo sapiens au naturel will die from hypothermia. So ask yourself if raising the temperature 11 (impossible) degrees will indeed bring civilization to a “screeching halt.”

It’s not like the press is very vigilant, either. A couple of years ago, he got a free pass on Larry King Live (May 22, 2007) after making at least seven exaggerations or outright misstatements on climate change in less than a minute.

Gore fielded a call asking “what issues caused by climate change globally are likely to affect the United States security during the next ten years?” He responded, “you know, even a one-meter increase, even a three-foot increase in sea level would cause tens of millions of climate refugees.”

In ten years? The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), hardly an apolitical body (the IPCC’s “lead authors” are all appointed by their governments), gives an average sea-level rise of 1.25 inches in the next ten years for its “midrange” temperature scenario. Never mind that it hasn’t warmed since 1997 and that sea-level rise is clearly slowing as a result.

Gore went on: “Today, 49 percent of America is in conditions of drought or near-drought”, and that “the odds of serious droughts increase when the average temperatures go up.”

That’s a testable hypothesis. The history of U.S. drought back to 1895 is readily available from the National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, North Carolina, as is the history of global temperature. Although surface temperatures have risen about 1.4 degrees since 1900 (with maybe half of that a result of emissions of carbon dioxide), there’s no similar trend in U.S. drought. Gore had to know that.

In the same minute, he droned on about how in a hotter world, “agriculture in the United States would be greatly affected.”

Thanks, Al, for another assertion subject to analysis. The slight rise in surface temperature was accompanied by a 500 percent increase in United States yield of corn (that’s the amount we produce per acre). How could any possible warming in ten years put a dent in that? The IPCC projects about 0.3 degrees of warming per decade now, or about a fifth of the total warming of the last 100 years. That’s going to “greatly affect” agriculture?

People notice these exaggerations. They see that food is still on the table (despite the government’s attempt to burn it up as ethanol). They know the country isn’t particularly dry, nor particularly wet. They can go to the beach and see that the ocean isn’t notably higher than it was before.

In other words, Gore’s lack of penetration is a result his own exaggerations. He’s created a climate of extremes that people are simply tired of, which is why his issue ranks dead last. He’s right. He’s failed.

— Patrick J. Michaels is senior fellow in environmental studies at the Cato Institute and author of the forthcoming Climate of Extremes: Global Warming Science They Don’t Want You to Know.

Does The Ledbetter Law Benefit Workers, Or Lawyers?

Does The Ledbetter Law Benefit Workers, Or Lawyers? By Stuart Taylor Jr.
Democrats and the media have distorted the facts underlying the new equal-pay law.
National Journal, Saturday, Jan. 31, 2009

This has been a good week, and may be a good year, for lawyers, civil-rights groups and others who think that America needs many more lawsuits to combat what they portray as pervasive job discrimination against women, minorities, the elderly, and the disabled.

Things are not going so well for those of us who fear that the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which President Obama co-sponsored as a senator and signed on Thursday, and other job discrimination bills in the congressional pipeline may be bad for most workers and may benefit mainly lawyers.

These measures seem likely to make it harder than ever for employers to defend themselves against bogus (as well as valid) discrimination claims, effectively adding to the cost of each new hire.

This would be justified if job discrimination were indeed pervasive. But the evidence suggests otherwise. Study after study has, for example, cast grave doubt on what appears to be the myth that sex discrimination in the workplace remains rampant more than 40 years after Congress adopted one law broadly banning job discrimination and another requiring equal pay for women and men doing equal work.

Congressional Democrats, liberal groups, and the media have thoroughly distorted the facts underlying the Ledbetter law to advance their agenda of opening the door wide to all manner of job-discrimination lawsuits.

The new law will virtually wipe out the 300-day time limit (180 days in Alabama and some other states) during which employees can file claims of discrimination under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Disgruntled employees will now be free to wait many years before hauling employers into court for supposedly discriminatory raises, promotions, or any other actions affecting pay.

The longer the wait, the more difficult it will be for the employer to contest an employee's one-sided and perhaps false account of the case, because key witnesses may have retired or died and records such as performance evaluations may have been discarded.

Indeed, some of the Ledbetter law's vague language could be construed as opening the doors for people to sue a company even years after retiring, on the theory that each new pension check is too small because of some claim of discrimination by some long-since-departed (or dead) supervisor.

This law represents an overreaction to a May 2007 Supreme Court decision, Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., that provoked an explosion of ill-informed media outrage and propelled the losing party, retired Goodyear employee Lilly Ledbetter of Alabama, to a speaking role at last year's Democratic National Convention.

The 5-4 decision reasonably (if debatably) held that the 180-day time limit for Ledbetter to file her Title VII claim had started running with the most recent act of intentional discrimination that affected her pay in the ensuing years. Ledbetter had argued -- and the new law now provides -- that the 180-day clock should restart with each new paycheck.

For this, the conservative majority was widely reviled as having denied any remedy to Ledbetter, because employees often don't know what their co-workers are paid and thus might not learn that they are victims until more than 180 (or 300) days after the supposed discrimination occurred.

But some critical facts -- ignored by the media and Congress -- belie their portrayal of the case, as detailed in my June 9, 2007, column.

First, Ledbetter waited more than five years after learning that she was paid substantially less than most male co-workers to file her Title VII claim for back pay, compensatory, and punitive damages. Second, by that time a key supervisor -- whom she belatedly accused of holding down her pay raises after she rejected his sexual advances -- had died. Third, Ledbetter chose not to pursue a claim under the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which has a much longer time limit (three years) than Title VII but does not (yet) provide for big-bucks damage awards.

Fourth, her years of poor performance evaluations, plus repeated layoffs that affected her eligibility for raises, convinced a federal magistrate judge (although not the jury) that her relatively low pay did not prove sex discrimination. Maybe Ledbetter was a victim of discrimination, as the jury found. Maybe not. The evidence is too stale to allow for a confident conclusion -- which is one reason the justices ruled against her.

That said, it would have been reasonable for Congress to amend Title VII by specifying (as some lower courts have held) that the clock does not start running until the employee is or should be aware that she is earning less than co-workers.

Instead, Congress chose to shift the balance dramatically against employers by effectively eliminating time limits for filing all manner of discrimination claims that have some impact on pay.

Another bill that may reach President Obama is the House-passed Paycheck Fairness Act. Its confusingly worded amendments to the Equal Pay Act of 1963 seem designed -- or at least likely -- to force pay raises for women who have never been victims of anything that most people would call discrimination.

The bill would, for example, expose an employer to liability for paying a woman less than a man in a similar job unless the employer can convince a jury that the differential is "job related" and "consistent with business necessity" -- and also that no "alternative employment practice exists that would serve the same business purpose."

What's that parade of nebulosities supposed to mean? I think it would invite judges and juries to go beyond providing remedies for real discrimination and to play Robin Hood by second-guessing justifiable pay disparities. It would force some employers who are entirely innocent of sex discrimination to settle unwarranted lawsuits.

An employer that has long paid higher salaries to employees with more experience or better scores on written tests of their job-related skills might be hit for a big damage award for failing instead to provide special training for inexperienced women or to use a different test.

A very big damage award, perhaps: The Paycheck Fairness Act would allow unlimited awards of both compensatory and (in cases of "reckless indifference") punitive damages. Other proposals likely to emerge during this Congress would eliminate the current caps on damages in Title VII lawsuits as well.

Worse, the Paycheck Fairness Act would allow lawyers to include masses of women who have little or no interest in suing in class-action lawsuits, excepting only those who go to the trouble of "opting out." This is a formula for lawyer-generated lawsuits to extort millions of dollars from companies without proving that they ever intentionally discriminated against anyone.

One of the myths underlying this bill is that, as then-Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York said on January 8: "It is disgraceful that... women in this country still earn only 78 cents on the dollar" earned by men.

No, it's not disgraceful. Nor is it true that "in many instances, the pay disparities can only be due to continued intentional discrimination or the lingering effects of past discrimination," as stated in the findings attached to the Paycheck Fairness Act.

Labor Department data and academic studies show that much of the male-female pay differential is explained by such factors as disproportionate child-rearing and caregiving responsibilities.These cut into women's working hours and motivate many to sacrifice higher pay for shorter hours and the flexibility to take career breaks.

The data also demonstrate that women who work 40 hours a week make 88 percent as much as men who work 40 hours. Economics professor June O'Neill of Baruch College reported in a 2003 article that the female-to-male wage ratio rises to 95 percent when other data -- on child-related factors, demographics, academic majors, work experience, and occupational characteristics -- are also taken into account. The "gender gap can be explained to a large extent by nondiscriminatory factors," O'Neill concluded.

"Men and women generally have equal pay for equal work now -- if they have the same jobs, responsibilities, and skills," wrote Diana Furchtgott-Roth of the conservative free-market Hudson Institute. She added, in a January 21 commentary published by Reuters, that the 5.9 percent unemployment rate for adult women is lower than the 7.2 percent for adult men.

This is not to suggest that sex discrimination is no longer a serious problem. I worry that my two daughters may run into the barriers that still lurk in some unknown percentage of workplaces. But I worry more that they and their peers will have a harder and harder time finding jobs in the first place if the government burdens employers with lawsuits that make it more and more expensive to bring in new hires.

In White House Blog: "Shameful"

White House, Thursday, January 29th, 2009 at 9:21 pm

$18 billion.

That’s what Wall Street bankers pulled down in bonuses over the past two months, according to a report from the New York State comptroller -- even as many of these institutions received billions in taxpayer dollars.

"That is the height of irresponsibility. It is shameful," President Obama said today, following a meeting with Vice President Joe Biden, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, and the rest of the economic team.

Read the President’s full remarks below.

The White House, Oval Office
January 29, 2009

THE PRESIDENT: Well, it's good to see you guys. I just had a terrific conversation with my Secretary of the Treasury, the Vice President, as well as the rest of our economic team, about the steps that we need to move forward on -- not only on the economic recovery and reinvestment package, but also on making sure that we begin the process of regulating Wall Street so that we can improve the flow of credit, banks start lending again, so that businesses can reopen, and that we can create more jobs -- but also to make sure that we never find ourselves in the kind of crisis that we're in again, that we've seen over the last several months.

And Secretary Geithner is hard at work on this process. We expect that even as the reinvestment and recovery package moves forward -- as I said, that's only one leg of the stool, and that these other legs of the stool will be rolled out systematically in the coming weeks so that the American people will have a clear sense of a comprehensive strategy designed to put people back to work, reopen businesses and credit flowing again.

One point I want to make is that all of us are going to have responsibilities to get this economy moving again. And when I saw an article today indicating that Wall Street bankers had given themselves $20 billion worth of bonuses -- the same amount of bonuses as they gave themselves in 2004 -- at a time when most of these institutions were teetering on collapse and they are asking for taxpayers to help sustain them, and when taxpayers find themselves in the difficult position that if they don't provide help that the entire system could come down on top of our heads -- that is the height of irresponsibility. It is shameful.

And part of what we're going to need is for folks on Wall Street who are asking for help to show some restraint and show some discipline and show some sense of responsibility. The American people understand that we've got a big hole that we've got to dig ourselves out of -- but they don't like the idea that people are digging a bigger hole even as they're being asked to fill it up.

And so we're going to be having conversations as this process moves forward directly with these folks on Wall Street to underscore that they have to start acting in a more responsible fashion if we are to together get this economy rolling again. There will be time for them to make profits, and there will be time for them to get bonuses -- now is not that time. And that's a message that I intend to send directly to them, I expect Secretary Geithner to send to them -- and Secretary Geithner already had to pull back one institution that had gone forward with a multimillion dollar jet plane purchase at the same time as they're receiving TARP money. We shouldn't have to do that because they should know better. And we will continue to send that message loud and clear.

Having said that, I am confident that with the recovery package moving through the House and through the Senate, with the excellent work that's already been done by Secretary Geithner in consultation with Larry Summers and Paul Volcker and other individuals, that we are going to be able to set up a regulatory framework that rights the ship and that gets us moving again. And I know the American people are eager to get moving again -- they want to work. They are serious about their responsibilities; I am, too, in this White House and I hope that the folks on Wall Street are going to be thinking in the same way.

United States Humanitarian Support to Palestinians

United States Humanitarian Support to Palestinians
Media Note, Office of the Spokesman, US State Dept
Washington, DC, January 30, 2009

President Barack Obama has authorized the use of $20.3 million from the U.S. Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance (ERMA) Fund to address critical post-conflict humanitarian needs in Gaza. U.S. Government support for humanitarian assistance to Palestinian refugees and conflict victims now totals nearly $120 million in FY 2009, including nearly $60 million in Gaza.

Of the $20.3 million in new ERMA funds, $13.5 million will go to the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), $6 million to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and $800,000 to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). These organizations are distributing emergency food assistance, providing medical assistance and temporary shelter, creating temporary employment, and restoring access to electricity and potable water to the people of Gaza.

Today’s contribution to UNRWA augments the $85 million the United States contributed in December 2008 toward UNRWA’s 2009 appeals. Of that amount, $25 million supported UNRWA emergency operations in West Bank and Gaza. The remaining $60 million supported UNRWA’s services for 4.6 million Palestinian refugees in the region, including Gaza. UNRWA is the largest provider of humanitarian aid in Gaza, providing 70 percent of the population with emergency food assistance, essential healthcare, and primary education. We are working to develop a longer-term reconstruction/development effort with international partners.

Furthermore, today’s contribution to ICRC complements the $9.7 million the United States provided earlier this month for ICRC’s activities for victims of conflict in the Middle East, with particular attention to its critical programs in Gaza. U.S. support of the ICRC buttresses the organization’s efforts to supply Gaza’s hospitals and clinics with urgently needed medical equipment, as well as to rehabilitate damaged water pumps and sanitation systems.

Finally, the U.S. contribution to OCHA supports its essential coordination activities for the Humanitarian Country Team, comprised of UN Agencies and non-governmental organizations providing humanitarian assistance in Gaza.

In addition to our contributions to UNRWA, ICRC, and OCHO, to date, USAID has provided more than $3.7 million for emergency assistance to Gaza. Food, milk powder, blankets, plastic sheeting, and other nonfood items have been distributed to beneficiaries, and the distributions are continuing. This assistance is distributed to beneficiaries through USAID’s implementing partners under six recently awarded grants ($250,000 each) to Mercy Corps, American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA), CHF International, Relief International, Catholic Relief Services, and CARE International. Food distributions are done through USAID’s grant to the World Food Program (WFP).

The U.S. reiterates its support for humanitarian actors responding to emergency needs in Gaza and encourages other states to provide urgently needed funding to UNRWA, ICRC, WFP and other international and non-governmental organizations providing this lifesaving care to civilians in Gaza.


Washington Post Editorial: Guns in Virginia

Guns in Virginia. Washington Post Editorial
Lawmakers should close the gun show loophole.
Washington Post, Friday, January 30, 2009; A18

THE VIRGINIA Senate has an unprecedented opportunity today to begin to reverse the state's abysmal record on gun regulation.

For years, state lawmakers have defeated bills requiring vendors at gun shows to conduct background checks of would-be buyers. Yet such legislation squeaked by the Senate Courts of Justice Committee by an 8 to 7 vote this week and is poised for a vote in the full Senate. Politicians of both parties, including self-described gun rights advocates, should endorse this modest bill.

Licensed gun dealers in Virginia are required to conduct background checks on buyers, including those to whom they sell at gun shows. Yet, according to the Virginia State Police, up to 35 percent of vendors at the scores of gun shows throughout the state are unlicensed and thus are under no obligation to perform the checks. This makes no sense, and the public is put at risk because felons or the mentally ill are not screened out if they attempt to purchase guns.

The Senate bill would close this loophole by requiring that even unlicensed vendors -- often hobbyists who do not make their living from gun sales -- conduct these checks. To facilitate compliance, the bill calls for the gun show promoter to ensure that those who already hold federal licenses to sell firearms will conduct checks on behalf of unlicensed vendors. The bill does not require background checks for those purchasing antique guns or for those who have concealed-weapons permits.

Gun rights advocates won a stunning victory last year before the U.S. Supreme Court when a majority of the justices determined that the Second Amendment bestows an individual right to keep and bear arms. Before this ruling, many advocates worried that gun control activists would use regulation to effectively ban gun ownership. Those worries should have been put to rest by the court's decision. There is no longer any legitimate reason for lawmakers to resist sensible provisions to ensure that only law-abiding citizens exercise this right. And the bill to require background checks by all vendors is but a minor inconvenience that respects gun-ownership rights while keeping weapons out of the hands of potentially dangerous people.

Tennekes on Real Climate

Real Climate Suffers from Foggy Perception, by Henk Tennekes
Climate Science, January 29, 2009 @ 7:00 am


Roger Pielke Sr. has graciously invited me to add my perspective to his discussion with Gavin Schmidt at RealClimate. [...]

A weather model deals with the atmosphere. Slow processes in the oceans, the biosphere, and human activities can be ignored or crudely parameterized. This strategy has been very successful. The dominant fraternity in the meteorological modeling community has appropriated this advantage, and made itself the lead community for climate modeling. Backed by an observational system much more advanced than those in oceanography or other parts of the climate system, they have exploited their lead position for all they can. For them, it is a fortunate coincidence that the dominant synoptic systems in the atmosphere have scales on the order of many hundreds of kilometers, so that the shortcomings of the parameterizations and the observation network, including weather satellite coverage, do not prevent skillful predictions several days ahead.

A climate model, however, has to deal with the entire climate system, which does include the world’s oceans. The oceans constitute a crucial slow component of the climate system. Crucial, because this is where most of the accessible heat in the system is stored. Meteorologists tend to forget that just a few meters of water contain as much heat as the entire atmosphere. Also, the oceans are the main source of the water vapor that makes atmospheric dynamics on our planet both interesting and exceedingly complicated. For these and other reasons, an explicit representation of the oceans should be the core of any self-respecting climate model.

However, the observational systems for the oceans are primitive in comparison with their atmospheric counterparts. Satellites that can keep track of what happens below the surface of the ocean have limited spatial and temporalresolution. Also, the scale of synoptic motions in the ocean is much smaller than that of cyclones in the atmosphere, requiring a spatial resolution in numerical models and in the observation network beyond the capabilities of present observational systems and supercomputers. We cannot observe, for example, the vertical and horizontal structure of temperature, salinity and motion of eddies in the Gulf Stream in real time with sufficient detail, and cannot model them at the detail that is needed because of computer limitations. How, for goodness’ sake, can we then reliably compute their contribution to multi-decadal changes in the meridional transport of heat? Are the crude parameterizations used in practice up to the task of skillfully predicting the physical processes in the ocean several tens of years ahead? I submit they are not.

Since heat storage and heat transport in the oceans are crucial to the dynamics of the climate system, yet cannot be properly observed or modeled, one has to admit that claims about the predictive performance of climate models are built on quicksand. Climate modelers claiming predictive skill decades into the future operate in a fantasy world, where they have to fiddle with the numerous knobs of the parameterizations to produce results that have some semblance of veracity. Firm footing? Forget it!

Gavin Schmidt is not the only meteorologist with an inadequate grasp of the role of the oceans in the climate system. In my weblog of June 24, 2008, I addressed the limited perception that at least one other climate modeler appears to have. A few lines from that essay deserve repeating here. In response to a paper by Tim Palmer of ECMWF, I wrote: “Palmer et al. seem to forget that, though weather forecasting is focused on the rapid succession of atmospheric events, climate forecasting has to focus on the slow evolution of the circulation in the world ocean and slow changes in land use and natural vegetation. In the evolution of the Slow Manifold (to borrow a term coined by Ed Lorenz) the atmosphere acts primarily as stochastic high-frequency noise. If I were still young, I would attempt to build a conceptual climate model based on a deterministic representation of the world ocean and a stochastic representation of synoptic activity in the atmosphere.”

From my perspective it is not a little bit alarming that the current generation of climate models cannot simulate such fundamental phenomena as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. I will not trust any climate model until and unless it can accurately represent the PDO and other slow features of the world ocean circulation. Even then, I would remain skeptical about the potential predictive skill of such a model many tens of years into the future.

PPI on health savings accounts

Judgment Day for Health Care Consumerism. By David B. Kendall, PPI's senior fellow for health policy
Progressive Policy Institute, Jan 29, 2009

Conservative thinkers have touted medical savings accounts (later called health saving accounts) as the answer to the woes of U.S. health care. Twelve years after their first enactment in 1997, it's time to assess their success.

The judgment of two health care economists is that they have failed to solve the problem, yet they have not proven as bad as it their critics feared. Writing in Health Affairs, health economists James Robinson and Paul Ginsburg show how they have melded into the existing dysfunctional market dominated by managed care. They have ended up complementing managed care rather than replacing it.

A typical health savings account combines a high-deductible health insurance plan with a tax-free account for any money that a consumer doesn't use for health care. Initially, the idea was that patients would choose health care services directly from providers without any interference from an insurance company. Instead, most such plans use a network of doctors with whom insurance companies pre-negotiate prices and review the use of costly services.

Health savings accounts were supposed to put patients in charge of their health and health care, but instead employers and employees have opted for management services for chronic diseases. They have also incorporated prevention programs that provide employees with support services to encourage healthy habits.

Even with these embellishments, health savings accounts and similar programs have not grown large enough to change the entire health care marketplace. They have not proven popular enough to be a foundation for the kind of overhaul that health care needs. But they have contributed to the knowledge about what can and cannot reform health care.

Here is Robinson and Ginsberg's conclusion:

Health care should be consumer driven for reasons of both efficiency and ethics. When in possession of adequate information and faced with appropriate incentives, consumers make better choices for their own health than does any third party, be that third party motivated by the most praiseworthy of intentions. Moreover, as a matter of ethics, it is the patient and consumer, not the physician or insurer or employer or regulator, who should be vested with the right to make tradeoffs in the emotionally and sometimes spiritually charged domain of health care. That said, one must acknowledge that consumers often need support if their choices are to promote their well-being and constraint when they are spending other people's money. Health care is complex at best and not infrequently rife with nontransparent, anticompetitive, and even fraudulent behavior on the part of the many self-interested agents. Individual consumers can benefit from some of the efforts by governmental and employer sponsors, health insurance plans, provider organizations, and medical management programs. Consumers need others to create meaningful products and processes from which they can choose -- bundles of products and services that can be measured, priced, purchased, and used not only by the highly educated and motivated individual but by those who are sick and scared, of only modest means and financial sophistication.

Consumerism has a role in reform, but it won't work as an overriding ideology. It will take public action to enable private solutions that can truly solve the cost, quality, and access problems in U.S. health care. That's the platform that health care reform needs in 2009.

For more information:
Consumer-Driven Health Care: Promise And Performance, by James C. Robinson and Paul B. Ginsburg, Health Affairs, January 27, 2009