Wall Street Journal — Pelosi Indicates Support for Senate’s Medicare Deal
If the House speaker really wanted to see the new Senate health deal – expanding Medicare to 55-year-olds and the creation of a new category of national private insurance — passed, she probably should have not voiced her support.
The real make-or-break moment on the new plan will come when the Congressional Budget Office reports on the costs of the plan and the economic impact of people not having to keep working into their 60s in order to keep their insurance. But word from Pelosi that she will trade a “robust public option” for more Medicare and a national private plan will spook Senate moderates who thought they might be signing on to something less liberal than the House plan.
Pelosi, though, is eager to please because she is losing members to retirement and will lose many more in November. The plan still creates a federal responsibility for health care and at this point, a W is a W.
Writer Greg Hitt has the details.
“Ms. Pelosi said the House and Senate bills ‘are probably 75% compatible,’ and suggested efforts to reconcile differences could go quickly. ‘We have just a few issues we have to deal with,’ she said.
The House and Senate bills have different approaches to paying for expanding health-insurance coverage. The House bill includes a new surtax on the wealthy, while the Senate would impose a range of health-related taxes including a levy on insurance companies that sell high-value health plans.
Another major issue is abortion. The House bill includes strict limits on abortion coverage, while the Senate’s bill is less restrictive.”
Wall Street Journal — Students Linked to al Qaeda
America has done a great job of keeping foreign Islamists from coming here to commit terrorist attacks. But just as in Europe, the alternative goal for anti-Western forces is to radicalize American Muslims.
And as we saw at Ft. Hood, the target is not the poor or oppressed Muslim, but the educated professional – a self-loathing participant in the hierarchy of the Great Satan.
As the details come out about the Northern Virginia dental student and his college friends arrested at a terrorist hangout in Pakistan, it makes one happy that they were so clueless and terrified that the next batch won’t be such a bunch of schmos.
The piece by Zahid Hussain, Siobahn Gorman and Neil King is truly must reading as a study on the target demographic for al Queda in hunting for the next Nidal Hasan.
“In the latest case, information from laptop computers and other material suggest the five men reached out to al Qaeda, the militant network operating from the tribal region bordering Afghanistan, said a Pakistani intelligence official. The men came in contact with al Qaeda through its local operatives, he said.
Police found jihadist literature at the house where the men were arrested, as well as maps of cities and installations — suggesting they could have been planning attacks in Pakistan, said Usman Anwar, police chief of Sargodha.
Initial evidence and interviews indicate at least some of the men wanted to fight U.S. soldiers, possibly in Afghanistan, U.S. officials said.”
Washington Post — Joblessness plan revamps rules on bank bailouts
The White House is placing a big bet on the idea that the TARP program can be changed from a Wall Street and Bank bailout to a new stimulus program.
But to get around legal challenges to repurposing the funds, the administration may have to get authorization from Congress, where Republicans could scream bloody murder over the plan to keep the bailout train rolling, but in a different direction.
Writer David Cho explains:
The Treasury prefers to set up the program on its own, without the need for a congressional change to TARP, which could be time-consuming, the sources said. These sources added that the initiative is still in flux and could be scrapped altogether.
As the economy has slumped, many banks have chosen to rein in lending rather than take government aid, leaving small businesses struggling to get the loans they need to hire workers and keep afloat.”
New York Times — Threatened G.M. and Chrysler Dealers Win a Round in the House
In the movie “Goodfellas” a struggling restaurant owner asks mob boss Paulie Cicero to invest in his restaurant. And while the restaurateur gets out of his cash bind, he finds that Paulie is running up his bills with vendors and selling the goods out the back door. When the bills come due, Paulie has the restaurant burned down for the insurance money.
The boards at GM and Chrysler may want to put “Goodfellas” on their Nextflix queues, because whatever hopes a company owned by labor unions and the federal government may have had for success must surely be gone now that it’s clear that members of Congress will be backseat drivers.
Writer Bernie Becker explains:
“Under the legislation, 2,000 or so car dealers that have already lost their franchises or are scheduled to lose them would be allowed to enter binding arbitration. A neutral arbitrator would decide whether to restore the dealer’s franchise agreement. Among factors to be considered in the decision are the profitability of the franchise from 2006 to 2009, how long the dealer has been in business and the dealer’s current economic viability.”
New York Times — Democrats Defend Bill to Rein in Wall Street
The House is expected to vote today on a plan to re-regulate Wall Street, including a provision for new taxes to create a fund to handle future bailouts.
Writer Carl Hulse expects a party-line vote on the bill. Democrats warned Republicans that they would pay dearly for their opposition. Republicans snorted.
“Republicans said they believed they could make the case that the measure would tighten credit, cost jobs and give the government too much power over private enterprise.
‘I think those people who are concerned about consumers realize something needs to be done,’ said Representative Scott Garrett, a New Jersey Republican who sits on the Financial Services Committee. ‘But substantiating and continuing a situation where you have bailouts, continuing a situation where you hurt jobs and expand the authority of government entities that didn’t do their jobs in the first place is not the way to do it.’”
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