Friday, December 05, 2008

Dems Give White House Ultimatum on Auto Bailout

ABC News reported The White House and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson have rejected the notion of using money from the so-called TARP - a $700 billion package passed by Congress in October to stabilize the financial industry.
Good for them. I hope they stick to it.
But in a letter Thursday night, Democratic leaders in the House and Senate told President Bush he must commit funds from either the TARP or the federal reserve or they will be unable to pass anything in Congress.
That is very good news. Congress is passing way too many bailouts now. If they can't pass any more. GM will enter Chapter 11, and that will not be nearly as bad as they are trying to frighten people into thinking. Some management may have their golden parachutes withdrawn, and bonuses canceled, and some bad union contracts may be reversed, but that is what the Big 3 need to become competitive.


Wednesday, December 03, 2008



Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Hillary's Senate seat

Ann Althouse loves the idea of Bill Clinton getting Hillary's Senate seat.

  • She wanted his old job, but he'd be getting her old job. I love the narrative arc.
  • I love the idea of a former President going on to another government position -- instead of going about giving speeches or attempting to perform good deeds or playing the elder statesman role. Get back in there and do something.
  • It would be so entertaining having Bill in there mixing it up with the other Senators. Will his narcissism allow him to submit to it? Come on! Show us how your brilliant skills can transform the Senate.
  • It would be nice to have a Senator who you absolutely know isn't dreaming of becoming President.

Unfortunately he is not interested. He can't imagine sharing the limelight with 99 other senators, all with more seniority, and hence power, than him.


Monday, December 01, 2008

A Muslim criticizes the killing in Mumbai

Mustafa Akyol wrte in Hurriyet It has become tough to watch the global breaking news as a Muslim. Once in a while a bomb goes off, or gunmen fire their weapons, in some part of the world killing innocent people. And the people who do this butchery very often act in the name of Islam. For a more than a billion Muslims who, like me, think that human life is sacred and invaluable, this evil committed in the name of our faith is a big disgrace.
I appreciate you saying so.
The recent attack on Mumbai, the financial capital of India, once again gave me that feeling of shame.
Thank you for saying so.


Mumbai killers to be denied a muslim burial News reported A Muslim graveyard today refused to bury nine of the gunmen who terrorised Mumbai.
Good for them.
The men were not true followers of the Islamic faith, according to the influential Muslim Jama Masjid Trust, which runs the 7.5-acre Badakabrastan graveyard in central Mumbai. "People who committed this heinous crime cannot be called Muslim," said Hanif Nalkhande, a trustee. "Islam does not permit this sort of barbaric crime."
I wish more Muslims would take that position.
Ten gunmen laid siege to India's financial capital. One was captured and the rest killed. The bodies of the nine now lie in a morgue awaiting last rites,
I thought "last rights" was a Catholic sacrament
while the lone surviving militant is in police custody. Normally, unclaimed bodies thought to be Muslims are given to the nearest Muslim graveyard for burial after three days, leaving police unsure what to do now.
Soak the bodies in pig fat, and burn them. Their souls are in Hell right now, looking for their virgins.
Police do not believe anyone will claim the gunmen's corpses since they are thought to be from Pakistan. "The gunmen must be buried because we are bound to see that their last rites are performed according to the religion they follow,"
Hang them up in a firing range, and fill them with lead. That seems to be the religion they follow.
said Jain Sirmukadam, a senior police inspector. "We have heard the trust's decision. We are considering what to do now."
How about taking them to the city dump?


Sunday, November 30, 2008

Reject Medicare and lose Social Security, too

The San Diego Union-Tribune reported The first wave of baby boomer retirees will soon turn 66 and get their first Social Security check. But they won't get Medicare without signing up, soon. That's one Medicare requirement worth knowing. Here's another: Opting out of Medicare is possible – if you don't mind losing your Social Security, too.
I am on both, and happy for both, because I am disabled, and unable to work, and I lost my insurance when the insurance company pulled out of Oklahoma. That is why I liked McCain's idea that you should be able to buy insurance from any company in the country. But I did not realize I had to take both, or none.
Three seniors have sued to change that. They want to pay their own medical costs, and they would abandon the Medicare taxes they've long paid. They don't want, however, to abandon Social Security. Their suit would sunder the two programs, allowing seniors to cover their own medical care without losing Social Security.
If people have the money to pay for their own medical care, r choose to have their own health insurance coverage, why not let them
That, say the three plaintiffs, would ensure the privacy of their medical records and spare them bureaucrats' second-guessing whether every lab test and office visit are “medically necessary.”
My personal experience is that I have never had Medicare say I can't get some test or office visit, but some friends who were foolish enough to signup for a Medicare Advantage plan have found they can't get some things I can get with straight Medicare.
If not, Medicare doesn't pay and the physician, by law, can't bill the patient. Don't wonder why many elderly have difficulty finding a doctor.
I have not experienced that problem. I did encounter one prospective doctor that had a limit on the number of Medicare patients he would accept, but the next one was open to new Medicare patients
No law mandates participation in both programs or none. The Clinton administration instituted that regulation, buttressed by Congress' ban on seniors venturing outside Medicare for any service it provides. These actions make sense only to critics who abhor “two-tier” health care pitting Medicare against private care.

Medicare is universal health care, the same care for all, adequate or not. And as Washington moves toward it, Canada moves away. In 2005, its Supreme Court voided Quebec's rule against buying private health services even if the national health service couldn't provide them in time.
That was smart on Canada's part, and not being allowed to buy outside the system is one problem I see with Universal Health Care.
Medicare, of course, is oversubscribed and underfunded. If a mere 1 percent of seniors left Medicare, within nine years the program would save some $3.5 billion a year. Yet bureaucrats dictate that seniors give up control of their health care or give up Social Security altogether. A lawsuit to stop that is worth pursuing.


Bill Clinton to Name Donors as Part of Obama Deal reported Former President Bill Clinton has agreed to disclose publicly the names of more than 200,000 donors to his foundation as part of an accord with President-elect Barack Obama that clears the way for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton to become secretary of state, Democrats close to both sides said on Saturday.
It's about time. What do we have to do to find out the details of Obama's donors; wait until a futuree president appoints him or Michelle to some post?
... The disclosure of contributors is among nine conditions that Mr. Clinton signed off on during discussions with representatives of Mr. Obama; all go beyond the requirements of law. Among other issues, he agreed to incorporate his Clinton Global Initiative separately from his foundation so that he has less direct involvement.
Why? What is needed is visibility on finances, not separation of his involvement.
The initiative, which promotes efforts to fight disease, poverty and climate change, would no longer hold annual meetings outside of the United States
Any conference on climate change should be in Cyberspace so no one has to travel. Conferences on disease and poverty should be held where the problem is.
or accept new contributions from foreign governments.
The important thing is not the source of the money, but publically revealing the source and amount.
Mr. Clinton also agreed to submit his future personal speeches and business activities for review by State Department ethics officials and, if necessary, by the White House counsel’s office.
I don't see why that should be necessary.