• comment on a post Why people are against healthcare reform over 5 years ago

    I am a liberal democrat and I really really dislike the Obama plan.

    I just hope I live long enough to get on Medicare. Then I won't have to worry about this crap any more.

    Hey, here's a thought. Why didn't Obama just propose a lowering of Medicare eligibility to age 60 or 55? That would have taken those who most need medical care off the wasteful private health care system and put hem into the efficient government run program, saving billions of dollars.

    Taking something that works, making it better, and expanding it to serve more people is simple and easy to grasp. It would have widespread public support and no doubt pass with bi-partisan support.

  • comment on a post CA-32: Help Send A Community Organizer To Congress over 5 years ago

    What have you done to support the teaching of  english to the non-english speakers in your area?

    Fighting an english-only ordinance is well and good but it is not enough. You must then make sure that english skills are learned by those without.

    If there is one thing we've learned since the mid 80's is that cultural ghettos cannot be climbed out of or otherwise overcome without good english language skills.

  • comment on a post Experts! over 5 years ago

    This stimulus bill is pretty lousy as a stimulas bill. It is just another tax cut and increased spending bill. It is exactly like all the other conservative budgets/spending bills we've seen since Reagan first took office. Cut taxes and increase spending; we've seen where this leads.

    The test of whether a bill is a good stimulus or not is easy. Just ask youself: are you any more likely now to buy a house or spend money to remodel your house, or make a business investment than you were before the bill passed.

    NO? I thought not.

    A good bill would have the immediate effect of prodding people into productive economic activity on the belief that waiting will only cost them more money latter. If the advantages of acting now are clear to one person they must, by that persons reckonning, be clear to all. So the first to act will have the advantage.

  • comment on a post Why Israel Fights: Part II over 5 years ago

    We should have a hands off distant relationship with Israel. If after sixty years they have not found a way to leave in peace with their neighbors, then they never will. Israel is trouble.

  • comment on a post The Swedish Banking Crisis over 5 years ago

    Sweden is not a model for the US.

    It is a tiny country with a banking system that consists of what would be considered a small regionals if they were in the US. The comparison between Sweden and the US is nonsense. The US problem is in banks that have global operations and impact. That is why the entire global banking system is now in a world of hurt. No one else was effected when the Swedish banks failed, it did't matter. The US banks, on the other hand, cannot be allowed to fail.

  • comment on a post The Bad Senate Compromise over 5 years ago

    By all account the economy was humming along for at least a decade driven by real estate and housing, up till a couple of years ago. During all that time tax reciepts to states were rolling in. I find it hard to believe that during the fat times most of the school buildings that needed repair and refurbishing where not taken care of and needed schools were not built.

    So cutting money for schools out of the stimulas bill does no great harm, as far as I can see.

  • comment on a post Dump Larry Summers now! over 5 years ago

    Like many people you may have a mistaken understanding of how the world economy works and think that you pet theories can be applied without consequence. Summers is under no such illusion.

    The smartest thing you could do is to listen to people like Larry Summers and Bob Rubin, people far smarter and more in touch than you will ever be, and try to learn something from them. Open your mind up and allow their new and challenging ideas a chance. If you are honest you will find that they are right a lot more than they are wrong.

    Rubin was the one who convinced Clinton to raise taxes in order to lower interest rates. As a consequence we had eight years of the strongest economic growth in a generation.

    Summers was part of the Rubin team that led to the Clinton economic miracle. We need him and people like him now more than ever.

  • on a comment on Bail Out Bonuses over 5 years ago

    Out of work investment bankers have no book. They are practically worthless without one. All of their clients have already been picked up by the survivors. It is the survivors who are valuable to the firm, not the ones with nothing to offer right out of the gate.

    I suppose you think that a firm could just replace a top producer who they paid over a million dollars to with an unemployed person for less than half. But if they try that the guy they fire will just go accross the street with his clients in tow and get paid a million and a half by someone else.

    The real world does not work the way you think it works.

  • on a comment on Bail Out Bonuses over 5 years ago

    It may be difficult for you to believe that banks have top talent. You talk as if you have no clue concerning what it takes to produce tens of millions of dollars in revenue each year, year in and year out. The revenue does not miraculously appear all by itself. It must be generated through commission sales, putting together deals, gathering assets, trading, etc.

    The people who do this generally at the top of their class intellectually, have paid their dues to reach the top of their profession and work incredably long and stressful hours.

    During go go years it all looks easy. But it is during times like these that the real talent rises to the surface. No one knows ahead of time who is going to be able to tough it out and bring in the money to keep the firm going.

    But the truth of the matter is that in a finacial firm the only assets worth anything are the producers who can generate revenue. Nothing else really matters. That is why retention bonuses are ok in principal.

    I understand that you don't get it. But for Obama to be so ignorant of how things work is pretty dissapointing.

  • comment on a post Bail Out Bonuses over 5 years ago

    The Treasury invested in the banks, it did not 'bail them out'. The investment is in preferred shares that pay a 5% dividend plus warrents that give the Treasury purchase rights plus additional income that brings the total payout to the Treasury, pre-exercise, of about 8%.

    Obama disappoints me with his fake outrage at retention bonuses.

    If you want to preserve and enhance the value of the banks so that they can attract additional private capital you need to retain the best people. I would say that at least 80% of the bonuses were well deserved and a probable 20% are questionable. This is always the case though as no decisions are ever 100% perfect.

    For a financial firm to pay key people bonuses to retain their services is like you painting your house to preserve its value. And just like you can choose the most expensive high quality paint or the less expensive economy paint I suppose bonuses can range between expensive and economical. But it is just plain stupid to flat out say that bonuses should not be paid at all.

    So two points:

    First, the taxpayer money in the firms is an investment. The corporation uses money in a manner that it believes best serves its corporate interest. To the extent that it is in the corporate interest to bay bonuses then it is also in the taxpayer/investor interest for them to do so.

    Secondly, keeping key people is critical to financial firms right now in order for them to have a fighting chance to recover and thrive. Not a one of the critics, Obama included, is qualified to replace the top producers at financial firms and without the producers the firms die.

  • comment on a post delete over 5 years ago

    Why in the world would you be mad at Bill Clinton? His reaction was perfectly ok. He was surprised that Bush told such a tasteless joke and all but said so.

  • comment on a post 250 Million over 5 years ago

    "A well regulated milita, being necessary for the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

    This is the only place in the US Constitution that specifically calls for the people who exercise a right to be 'well regulated'

    It is too bad the NRA is such a dishonest organization. So many people have died because of their irresponsible opposition of the plain words of the Constitution to regulate their members.

  • comment on a post Obama EPA delivers blow to coal over 5 years ago

    Wind is not a reliable substitute for a coal burning plant. No one in their right minds would want to replace one with the other. Wind power is an expensive and unreliable indulgence that we just cannot afford. Build the coal plant but build it with scrubbers to rid the exhaust of carbon dioxide and other pollutants. That way we get reliable cheap energy without the environmental problems.

  • comment on a post Why is Oscar Grant not more famous? over 5 years ago

    He was a punk criminal who is now dead. Except for the fact it will cost taxpayers a bunch of money no one cares how he died.

    Your all upset that he was shot by the police. Well isn't violence something Grant was intimately familiar with? He was asaulting people riding on BART before he was killed. If you lived the kind of life he live I wouldn't cry at your funeral if you were shot by a cop either.

    So now the world is a little bit safer. Next time you visit the bay area there is one less monster roaming the streets and riding the public tranportation for you to worry about.

  • Apparently it is not over with yet as the question is always brought up. Since the 'decision of the UN' has not been accepted by those most affected by it it seems to me that the question has legitmacy.

    I once thought Israel was a heroic land and a noble cause.

    Now I think it was perhaps a mistake made because of western hubris and guilt.

    I wish everyone could live in peace but that does not appear to be the case. I don't really think it is up to us however to decide the issue. It is up to the parties most affected to settle it. And in that regard I really don't think Israel will last as a 'Jewish' state.

    I hope that at some point Jewish people can live peacably in the middle east along with Christians and Moslems. I suspect that will be easier to obtain if Israel changed it's excusive nature and accepted the native population it displaced back into its borders with full rights.

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