Right Thinking From The Left Coast
I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have. - Thomas Jefferson

Friday, May 01, 2009

Friday Night Movie Fest

Tonight, a trio of classics from what to those of us who are of a certain age group was the golden age of TV movies, the early to mid-Seventies.

First up:

Where Have All The People Gone?

Next:

Genesis II

And, last but not least:

The Night That Panicked America (remember this one?)

Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 05/01/09 at 07:27 PM in Fun and Humor  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Time to play “What if I were in charge?”
by JimK

So let’s say you somehow had the power to decide what to do about the American car industry.  Technically (as well as ethically and some say Constitutionally), the President should not have that power, but that isn’t stopping him or anyone else, so let’s play along.

What would you do, right now, to “fix” things?  Would you crap all over the investors that kept the industry afloat, and instead reward a union—that has approximately one-third the amount of cash invested—with a majority ownership stake?  Would you let one of the big three fail?  Two?  All of them?  Would you let the Japanese, or Koreans, or Germans or anyone else who might have (or be able to raise) the capital come in and buy up the pieces of the broken companies?

Obviously we are talking broad strokes here, but I’m curious as to what people think should be done.

Posted by JimK on 05/01/09 at 02:55 PM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Precious And Few

Apparently Newt didn’t get the memo that they all have to stick together:

Several members of the Republican National Committee are miffed at Newt Gingrich for claiming that they’re a small bunch of egomaniacs who need to be coddled by the party chairman.

“Newt needs to take a breath,” New Jersey committeeman David Norcross told CNN.

***

Defending Steele’s tumultuous start, Gingrich said the chairman might be under fire from some in the committee because he “probably has not yet learned the art of massaging the egos of RNC members.”

“They all think they’re precious, and they all think they should be taken care of, and they all think the job of the chairman, first of all, is to make the RNC members happy,” Gingrich said of the committee’s 168 members.

Newt may be a tool at times, but when he’s right, he’s right. Now if only he and Steele could bring some sort of organization and coherence to this most dysfunctional family.

Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 05/01/09 at 01:52 PM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

They Set Him Up The Time Bomb

A lawyer is going after the crooks who helped protect the crooks:

Ron Grassi says he thought he had retired five years ago after a 35-year career as a trial lawyer.

Now Grassi, 68, has set up a war room in his Tahoe City, California, home to single-handedly take on Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Ratings. He’s sued the three credit rating firms for negligence, fraud and deceit.

Grassi says the companies’ faulty debt analyses have been at the core of the global financial meltdown and the firms should be held accountable. Exhibit One is his own investment. He and his wife, Sally, held $40,000 in Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. bonds because all three credit raters gave them at least an A rating—meaning they were a safe investment—right until Sept. 15, the day Lehman filed for bankruptcy.

“They’re supposed to spot time bombs,” Grassi says. “The bombs exploded before the credit companies acted.”

These guys were in bed with each other. I hope Mr. Grassi takes them to the cleaners. Turnabout is fair play, after all.

Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 05/01/09 at 01:29 PM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Sheer Heart Attack

You will be shocked to learn that smoking bans don’t reduce heart attacks that much after all:

Workplace smoking restrictions are unrelated to changes in all‐cause mortality or mortality due to other AMI in all age groups. Restrictions on smoking of any sort are associated with reduced all‐cause mortality among the elderly (‐1.4%, 95% CI: ‐3.0 to 0.2%) but the result is only significant at the 10% level (p=0.06) (see Table 2). We find no statistically significant reduction in admissions due to AMI among working‐age adults (‐4.2%, 95% CI: ‐10.2 to 1.7%, p=0.165) or among the elderly (2.0%, 20 95% CI: ‐3.7 to 7.7%, p =0.48) following the enactment of a workplace smoking restriction (see Table 3). We similarly find no evidence of reduction in admissions for other diseases in any age group…

In contrast with smaller regional studies, we find that workplace bans are not associated with statistically significant short-term declines in mortality or hospital admissions for myocardial infarction or other diseases. An analysis simulating smaller studies using subsamples reveals that large short-term increases in myocardial infarction incidence following a workplace ban are as common as the large decreases reported in the published literature.

In other words, the creators of these studies used one dubious example of how a smoking ban “works” and tred to apply the results everywhere else. And it was accepted as gospel by the anti-smoking crowd. This is how activist agendas become “Accepted facts.”

Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 05/01/09 at 01:22 PM in Health Care  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Good News on Cramdowns

For the moment at least, they ain’t happening.

The Senate on Thursday shot down a controversial housing bill supported by the White House yet widely opposed by the financial industry.

The bill, known as cramdown in the financial industry, would have allowed homeowners to turn to bankruptcy judges to write down the principal and interest payments for their primary home mortgages.

Democrats fell 15 votes short of the 60 necessary to pass the bill, with 12 Democrats including Sen. Arlen Specter (Pa.) voting no.

The 45-51 vote was a stinging loss for Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), who has tried and failed to pass the bankruptcy measure through the Senate for two years. Durbin spent weeks in negotiations with Senate staff and industry officials but could not produce a compromise that would pass the Senate.

This is very good news, especially that 12 Democrats managed to vote to support contract law.  This was the one provision of Obama’s housing plan that was the killer for me.  If it’s dead, I think the rest of the plan—mainly easing up a little bit on refinance requirements—may work out OK.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 05/01/09 at 06:59 AM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink
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