Monday, September 07, 2009
Via DailyKOS TV
“There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.” ― Paul Krugman
Via DailyKOS TV
[Banks] plan to “securitize” these policies, in Wall Street jargon, by packaging hundreds or thousands together into bonds. They will then resell those bonds to investors, like big pension funds, who will receive the payouts when people with the insurance die.Life settlement companies — companies that buy life insurance policies and cash in when the original policy holder dies — have been around for some time, but this would mark the first time that life insurance policies are turned into big business on Wall Street....(Remainder.)
The earlier the policyholder dies, the bigger the return — though if people live longer than expected, investors could get poor returns or even lose money.
Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) has long opposed a public health insurance option. In May, he expressed concern that “the public plan would be too attractive and would hurt the private insurance plans.” A Nelson spokesman even suggested that the senator would be “building a coalition opposed to the public plan.” And this past week, Nelson said health care reform “implodes” if a public option is included.(Original.)
But this morning on CNN, Nelson moderated his stance ever-so-slightly. He indicated to host John King that he would support a so-called “trigger” (which would establish a public plan after a certain period of time if the private market fails to control costs):
Well I think he [Obama] has to say that if there’s going to be a public option, it has to be subject to a trigger. In other words, if somehow the private market doesn’t respond the way that it’s supposed to, then it would trigger a public option or a government-run option. But only as a fail-safe backstop to the process.Howard Dean has previously said the trigger is a "terrible idea," saying insurance companies "will just change their behavior until the trigger runs out and go back to how they were."
When I say trigger, out here in Nebraska and the midwest, I don’t mean a hair-trigger. I mean a true trigger — one that would only apply if there isn’t the kind of competition in the business that we believe there would be.
"I apologize, but guys will understand this. My wife is, like, hot, and she wouldn’t have sex with me until we got married. And she wouldn’t marry me unless we had a religion."According to Beck, his marriage with his second wife, Tania, is the one that the LDS Church has "sealed," authenticated.
Beck’s wife, Tania, confirmed it to Stossel: "He’s not joking."
MR. GREGORY: We brought it up with David Axelrod. Well, this has created such a firestorm. Here's the New Canaan Public Schools, writing a parent letter, and in it they say this. "In developing their plans our principals have considered issues such as developmental appropriateness, curricular relevance, the time at which the speech is being broadcast and the importance of teachers assuming responsibility for the selection of instructional materials. In elementary schools the administration and faculty will view the speech, download it and after discussing it, make decisions regarding how it might be used in the future--including deciding its appropriateness for various grade levels. Parents will be notified, if and when, the decision to show the speech is made." Tom Brokaw, talk about tortured language. What's going on here?(Remainder.)
MR. FRIEDMAN: Signs of the apocalypse. I mean, really.
MR. BROKAW: It's stunning to me. I come from a time and a place in America where it would be thrilling to have a president of the United States address your school about the importance of studying and staying in school. And this president, whatever else you think about his political philosophy, is a symbol of working hard, coming from difficult circumstances and getting to where he is in part because of education. I think it's so ripe for satire, it's unbelievable. The superintendent of the Gettysburg Public School System said today that they have devised a plan for students to be shielded from a President Abraham Lincoln who will be coming to make an address. Look, that is the most tortured thing I can possibly imagine, what we just read there. It sounds like East Germany trying to form some restrictions on people leaving the eastern sector to go into the western sector. I think it's perfectly appropriate for parents to say, "I don't want my child to hear that. I would rather keep them out or put them in a different school that day." But this is completely out of control, in my judgment. And it's not--it's not partisan. I mean, if--when I was a student or when my children were in school...
I am resigning my post at the Council on Environmental Quality, effective today.The near-term downside to this is that the residents of the Beck Asylum for Paranoid Thumb Suckers are going to be celebrating triumphantly for a while. That will be annoying but bearable. Beck himself will feel emboldened and anxious to take aim at a new target. He has already laid the ground work for post-Jones assaults on Valerie Jarrett and Mark Lloyd. (Do I need to point out that Jones, Jarrett and Lloyd are all African American members of the Obama administration?)...(Remainder.)
On the eve of historic fights for health care and clean energy, opponents of reform have mounted a vicious smear campaign against me. They are using lies and distortions to distract and divide.
I have been inundated with calls - from across the political spectrum - urging me to “stay and fight.”
But I came here to fight for others, not for myself. I cannot in good conscience ask my colleagues to expend precious time and energy defending or explaining my past. We need all hands on deck, fighting for the future.
It has been a great honor to serve my country and my President in this capacity. I thank everyone who has offered support and encouragement. I am proud to have been able to make a contribution to the clean energy future. I will continue to do so, in the months and years ahead.
On Friday, Pence, who describes himself as “Christian, Conservative, Republican, in that order,” said Jones’s “extremist views and coarse rhetoric have no place in this administration or the public debate.” Beyond the obvious here (the hate-filled rhetoric we see every day from racist, right-wing wackos, including those in public office), it is an interesting comment considering that Pence is an extremist right-wing evangelical Christian who has taken thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from Blackwater’s owner, Erik Prince. Prince has also donated to Pence’s Political Action Committee “Principles Exalt a Nation.” In December 2007, three months after Blackwater operatives gunned down 17 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad’s Nisour Square, Pence and his Republican Study Committee, which serves “the purpose of advancing a conservative social and economic agenda in the House of Representatives,” organized a gathering to welcome Prince to Washington. “Not only has Mr. Prince personally been targeted by partisan warfare repeatedly over the past months, but the use of contracting throughout the government has been under attack by this Congress,” Pence’s committee’s statement said. Should Pence resign for cavorting with and accepting campaign cash from a man who allegedly “views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe,” in the words of a former employee?I think it's time for the majority party to start acting like one. If Republican-controlled Congress could set aside time to debate condemning MoveOn.org for their Gen. "Betray Us" ad, then the Democratic-controlled Congress ought to be making sure that the double standard of IOKIYAR no longer stands....(Original.)
In an interview this past week, the adviser didn't say, but he did insist the campaign helped Obama hone a style he now uses as president.And for anyone who doesn't have children, or nieces and nephews, or who wasn't a child themselves, that strategy probably makes sense. It's called "waiting until the last minute and then pulling an all-nighter." I had the same discussion with my nephew Anthony in the past year. He explained to me how he always leaves his papers until the last minute, then writes them in one fell swoop where the first edit is the final draft. When I told Anthony that this was the way a kid wrote a paper, not an adult, he protested - no, uncle John, he told me, it's always worked for me in the past, it's my thing....(Remainder.)
"His approach is to keep his eye on the ball and not get bogged down in the tempest of the moment," he said. "He is ultimately a principled pragmatist. He knows where he wants to go, and he's not dogmatic about how to get there."
As president, Obama has dug in against persistent critics or stiff opposition in order to press for a broad, long-term goal.