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Social Security almost went bankrupt.  In a world where Bush got his bill through, it did.  

Future retirees depending on social security for their retirement, could have seen their money go away, their $100,000 saved over a life of work, becoming a mere $50,000.   In Bush's plan, it did.

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I just heard Liddy talk on C-Span... He was defending the bonuses, which I expected.  But what surprised me was what I heard later in his testimony.   Apparently, when pushed on exactly how many people were involved with the risky derivatives trades - trades that could have collapses the US economy - it wasn't the whole financial 400+ person side of AIG, but a sub-group, consisting of a mere 20-25 people!  

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There are really some bizarre ways of generating electricity.  New research is uncovering some quirky ways of getting electricity.   Article is meant to be fun...

(A quick disclaimer: this is not a diary about energy making a difference in our lives-- Obama is focusing on the right issue right now: energy efficiency.  Buildings make up about 60% of our energy use and it could be 0% if we took the DOEs research (and other countries work) seriously.)

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Thu Jan 15, 2009 at 12:02 AM PST

The Car that Runs on Air

by yammatal

A French inventor managed to create a car that is essentially electric, without the high costs of an electric car.  It has none of the toxic elements of an electric car (such as lithium batteries) and no CO2 emissions.  It runs on compressed air.   Their 7k car costs less than 1c/mile to drive!

MDI's website

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This week I read about the first country to have its debt devalued: Russia.  Its rating went from BBB+ to BBB.  A small bit of news.  And yet it was on the front page of the December 9th Financial Times.  

What immediately struck me about it was... a possibility... granted just a possibility, but the fact that it could happen was alarming to me.  A possibility of what could happen next: that more countries could have their credit rating devalued.  Of course it would probably be places deemed inconsequential at first: Iceland, Hungary, Ukraine, Argentina, the "troubled economies".  But it could start a cycle of devaluations, capped with a devaluation of the US debt.  

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Steven Chu is our new Energy Secretary according to MSNBC.  What a relief!   After all the conjecture, it is great to see an appointment going to someone who is not a career politician or corporate guy.  

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I would like to see government-run health care, but not big government.  I would like it to be run like the fire department and police department; it would be the health department, federally funded, but managed at a county level.

It should be preventative and if possible reward good choices.  

Companies who are adding cost to the health care system-- those who produce tobacco, alcohol, fatty foods, soda companies, cafe chains-- should contribute a little to the costs (proportionately).  A few that are helping lower costs should be rewarded (healthy foods, gyms)  


If there were universal coverage, health care would best be administered from the...

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This morning, I was thinking about the loan the auto makers are asking for... In a time where money is getting thrown around in the hundreds of billions, why not lend these guys a hand?   I don't have a problem with assisting them in their time of need, but I do have a problem with their serious attitude problem.  The Big 3 were asked to come to Washington with a proposal, but ended up there, on private jets, and talking about everything but a business plan.  As they say in business, if you don't have a solid plan, you are likely to fail.  

So my proposal is this: Congress should tell them they will pick one of them for a generous loan (maybe $18 bil)-- but only one.  If they want to win that loan, they will need to present not just a good business plan-- but the best business plan.  The plan that would win would include cuts on executive compensation, getting rid of all private jets, a more diverse supply chain, a commitment to electric cars, "truck" MPG standards that meet the standards for cars, and a pledge not to fight EPA standards in states trying to curb air pollution.  

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Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 03:51 AM PDT

The Ohio Vote

by yammatal

Starting today, Ohio voters can register to vote and immediately be given an absentee ballot. This allows people to fill out the form and mail in their vote on the spot.  See this recently posted blog for details on where/how to vote.

As even Faux News reports video this is a huge boost for getting the college vote out.  (To watch, you must click the video selection: "Boost for Barack?")

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While everyone is talking about a rough day ahead for the financial sector, it's worth noting that Monday will reveal a surprise stock move in the financial sector: Merrill Lynch.  It is being bought for roughly double its stock valuation from Friday's close. It is an all-stock deal, and will dramatically up its stock price.

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Getting off oil is a big task, they say, but here are some ways that are affordable and reasonable to do now to break off our foreign dependence on oil.

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In 2000, people thought Bush had surrounded himself with intelligent people, it turned out, his VP and cabinet, opened the door for the infiltration of lobbyists and massive corruption.


Who would make the best VP for Obama? Someone...

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| 61 votes | Vote | Results

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