This week marked the 15th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. In OtherWords, Brown University expert Stephanie Savell runs the numbers on the human and economic costs of that decision, and they’re simply stunning.

Every American, she writes, has basically contributed a new car’s worth of spending to Bush-era wars that continue to this day.

In other boondoggles, Sergio Avila reports from the southern border on how border wall infrastructure threatens amazing American animals like the jaguar. And Sam Pizzigati questions the idea that billionaires like Elon Musk can save the Earth by planning expensive trips to Mars (and marketing high-tech flamethrowers).

Also this week, ER nurse Liz Hawkins calls #TimesUp on domestic abuse. Jill Richardson explains the virtues of science. And Jim Hightower wonders what use satire is anymore, when it’s basically come to life in the real world.

Finally, cartoonist Khalil Bendib counts the “other shoes” that keep dropping on the White House.

  1. 15 Years After the Iraq Invasion, What Are the Costs? / Stephanie Savell
    We spend $32 million per hour on wars started during the Bush administration.
  2. Don’t Make the Border a Wasteland / Sergio Avila
    The feds are waiving environmental laws in their rush to build a wall, threatening animals like the jaguar.
  3. Billionaires Won’t Save the World — Just Look at Elon Musk / Sam Pizzigati
    The “playboy genius” is essentially squandering taxpayer money on pet projects like Mars trips and flamethrowers.
  4. Nurses Are Calling #TimesUp on Domestic Abuse / Elizabeth Hawkins
    Emergency room encounters reveal the work that remains to be done to curb intimate partner violence.
  5. To Believe In Science, You Have to Understand How It’s Done / Jill Richardson
    Otherwise we end up bickering over our gut hunches on everything.
  6. What’s the Point of Satire Anymore? / Jim Hightower
    How can anyone satirize a presidency that gleefully flaunts its own awfulness every day?
  7. The ‘Other Shoe’ Just Keeps Dropping on the White House / Khalil Bendib
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Peter Certo

Peter Certo is the editorial manager of the Institute for Policy Studies and the editor of 

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