But first . . .

Could the Terri Schiavo tragedy be to the current era what Joe Welch’s question to Joe McCarthy – ‘Have you no shame, Senator?’ – was to an era whose fever broke a half century ago?

The President of the United States, who rarely if ever interrupts a vacation, flies back for a dramatic middle-of-the-night bill signing he could just have well done in Crawford? Because he so deeply cares about overturning the decisions of more than 15 judges after more than 34 hearings and appeals including two to the Supreme Court? Even though he signed a Texas law that lets a hospital remove a feeding tube even over the objections of the family?

From Digby’s Blogspot:

By now most people who read liberal blogs are aware that George W. Bush signed a law in Texas that expressly gave hospitals the right to remove life support if the patient could not pay and there was no hope of revival, regardless of the patient’s family’s wishes. It is called the Texas Futile Care Law. Under this law, a baby was removed from life support against his mother’s wishes in Texas just this week. A 68 year old man was given a temporary reprieve by the Texas courts just yesterday.

Those of us who read liberal blogs are also aware that Republicans have voted en masse to pull the plug (no pun intended) on Medicaid funding that pays for the kind of care that someone like Terry Schiavo and many others who are not so severely brain damaged need all across this country. . . .

Those of us who read liberal blogs are aware that the bankruptcy bill will make it even more difficult for families who suffer a catastrophic illness like Terry Schiavo’s because they will not be able to declare chapter 7 bankruptcy and get a fresh start when the gargantuan medical bills become overwhelming.

And those of us who read liberal blogs also know that this grandstanding by the congress is a purely political move designed to appease the religious right and that the legal maneuverings being employed would be anathema to any true small government conservative.

Have they no shame?

OUR MILLION-DOLLAR-A-MINUTE DEFICIT

If you thought the Mogambo link was a little too wacky yesterday, how about this from the Comptroller General of the United States?

(Where he speaks of our $750,000-a-minute deficit, note that he is understating it by nearly half. The true deficit, when you include the cost of the war and the $200 billion we’re borrowing from the Social Security trust fund, is more like $1.3 million a minute. But even with his numbers it is sobering.)

BUYING ON MARGIN

And speaking of massive deficits and the $10 trillion National Debt that the Republican leadership will bequeath our kids when President Bush leaves office . . .

. . . one of the basic tenets of prudent investing is not to buy ‘on margin’ – borrowing to invest. As others have pointed out, the President’s proposed partial Social Security privatization would have us – collectively – borrow trillions more from the Chinese and Japanese, among others, to invest in the U.S. stock market. Have they really thought this through?

SO?

Ron Carford: ‘You linked to the Mogambo article regarding the eventual collapse of the economy. My question is this: How do you suggest one should protect one’s assets? Assuming stocks will eventually collapse, is it safe to keep cash in a brokerage house like Fidelity? Or in a bank? Or in your mattress? In gold?’

☞ Big topic. But even if this bad stuff happens – it certainly may not – I think the banks and brokers will likely be fine (and your account is federally insured against their insolvency). On top of that, diversifying should help. TIPS should hold their value. Investments in foreign stocks and in resource-rich companies could be a significant part of the mix.

 

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