158 MPG IN 2013

So maybe you’d have your bigger, family car; but also this one when you didn’t need a third seat or trunk space. There aren’t enough airbags in the world for me to want to drive it in serious tractor-trailer traffic . . . my Foosball table weighs almost as much as this Volkswagen . . . but courage was never my middle name. One feature: a rearview camera, to replace those wind-drag side view mirrors. (Think how hard the wind pushes your hand when you put it out the window at cruising speed, and the energy required to overcome that drag.)


From the Aristides August investor letter:

. . . [P]erhaps the most serious moment of the current economic crisis was when hundreds of billions of dollars were withdrawn from money market funds in a matter of hours. The ‘money market,’ over $3 trillion in short maturity, high quality debt, represents a key short-term source of liquidity for most of corporate America; it is, in essence, a large virtual bank. The government halted the run on the bank by guaranteeing money market funds against loss. This is far from an optimal situation, as it harms the flow of deposits to actual banks, and on September 19, 2009, the government will allow the guarantee program to end. As the yield on the typical money market fund is something like 0.20%, this should logically precipitate flows out of money market funds; who in their right mind wants to earn 0.20%, with no guarantee from the federal government, when they could achieve a similar government guaranteed yield with T-bills or a CDARS CD product from a bank? Hopefully, this will all happen slowly and smoothly, but be aware that, after Saturday, nothing but faith in the financial system is preventing the largest bank run in the history of mankind. Of course, government will intervene again if needed, but if it has to, after recapitalizing the banks, taking over a large bank, implicitly guaranteeing the debt of the 20 largest banks and explicitly guaranteeing certain bank debt, taking over the world’s largest insurer, taking over the world’s largest mortgage company, subsidizing the securitization market, taking over the world’s largest auto manufacturer, and promising to help with the impending commercial real estate mess, it will not say anything good about the stability of the financial system.


I’m ‘reprinting’ this, because the more I think about it, the more I’d like to see everyone in America be familiar with it (so spread the word).

Former Senate Minority leader and 1996 Presidential candidate Bob Dole helped kill the Clinton health care bill.

As New York Times reported Saturday:

When former Senator Bob Dole was the Republican minority leader, he helped deep-six President Bill Clinton’s health care plan. This year, Mr. Dole, 86, who left the Senate in 1996 to run for president, is working behind the scenes to help resurrect one.

His motivation comes partly from experience. After his body was shattered during World War II, he underwent seven operations in veterans hospitals and three years of rehabilitation. ‘I had good treatment and it’s probably why I’m still around,’ he said in an interview. He has been working on the issue since the 1970s, and admits now that ‘we probably should have passed the Clinton bill, but it got so politicized.’

It seems he got a memo from Bill Kristol: allowing reform to pass would kill his chances to be President. It was just more important to defeat Clinton than to provide coverage to the millions of uninsured.

For the sake of one man’s presidential aspirations, millions of uninsured or inadequately insured Americans have suffered or died or gone bankrupt.

And now the Republicans hope to do it again.


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