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Web Letters | The Nation

Web Letter

I am not too concerned with what happened in Rome with respect to the attacks on imprudent leaders. Bush/Cheney are war criminals and need to be imprisoned, tried and then executed. When will this country develop real courage instead of the kind we have become so adept at...invading countries with third-rate militaries and killing innocents by the tens of thousands. Their blood is on our hands. Shame on us! We are the rogue nation.

Harry Miersma

Portland, OR

Feb 17 2009 - 12:50pm

Web Letter

The first bailout to the banks seems to have created a phenomena of Über Elites. These Über Elites are now consolidating into an even smaller fraction of the populace holding more of the country's wealth. Talk about hating social policies. We've paid to create even more power in the hands of even fewer. How did that happen? We've been taken to the cleaners by the same flim-flam men that have been controlling everything and emptying out pockets and upping the workload for average people for years.

These people have to be stopped or God help us. Let's start by dictating laws to the banks and also putting into place single-payer healthcare, which will put money into the hands of average people. One's whole well-being can't be threatened and ransomed by a greedy employer who knows you need healthcare.

The nouveau poor are going to learn what the already poor have known for a long time. Many employers will threaten you and make you work for free on a regular basis. That's the price they demand for you to keep your job and healthcare, which they consider a privilege provided out of the goodness of their heart.

The Have-Mores have systematically shifted all the wealth to the top through the high cost of healthcare and just putting a roof over your head. Let's stop that right now. We the people have a right to have something and take care of our health. Apparently, those in power have a done a great job of making that kind of thinking taboo while telling us they have a right to treat us this way because, well, they own everything. How long will we keep letting them tell us that we have to socialize the losses while they share none of the profits in any way? We have to save ourselves.

Leslie Nova

Spokane, WA

Feb 15 2009 - 8:49pm

Web Letter

I'm truly surprised how how little pundits and the general population understand about S-corporation and C-corporations. I'm also surprised at Rep. Barney Frank's answer on one of the cable news shows: "We are not going to go after them retroactively," speaking of the first slice or "tranche" of the TARP. Does that mean that if iI steal a loaf of bread I go to jail for life, but if I rip of a trillion I get to keep it and the federal government will give me billions more? Of course I know that I have to share with them, I suppose. I'm truly ashamed of old Barn. I think he needs his brain shoveled out.

JAMES PINETTE

Caribou, ME

Feb 13 2009 - 9:51am

Web Letter

The US Treasury provided taxpayers' money to banks to stimulate the economy via the generous efforts of Paulson, Bush... and Congress.

One of the banks' CEOs testified today that it loaned money to Pfizer and Verizon, which, you would agree, aren't homeowners in foreclosure or distressed small businesses.

1. How is the economy stimulated by enabling the bank to lend money to Pfizer to (a) purchase Wyeth for $68 Billion and layoff thousands of workers and, (b) to pay Pfizer's fraud fines, penalties and legal costs, which appear to be chronic and inevitable? Verizon is also talking up layoffs.

See Pfizer Buys Wyeth in $68 Billion Deal," "Pfizer to Pay Big Fine Over Bextra Promotion," "Pfizer Settles Most Bextra And Celebrex Drug Injury Cases," "Pfizer Completes Settlement Agreements With State Attorneys General Regarding Its NSAID Pain Medications," "Pfizer fraud and "N.J. Settles With Pfizer Subsidiary in Major “Off-Label” Prescription Drug Case."

The above links are not intended to paint an all-encompassing or comprehensive portrait; they illustrate my point without engaging in more extensive research of Pfizer's documented business practices. I am confident that there are more entrees on the menus of various debtors, which found their way to the US Treasury through the "bailout" beneficiaries.

Perhaps I misunderstood...

2. Was the economic stimulus conceived to further enrich Big Pharma, and perhaps other industries, utilizing federal funds to buy other cash cows and reduce operating costs by dumping thousands of workers?

My next questions pertain to the economic stimulus bill agreed to in conference today. It is my understanding that funds are included to provide Medicaid coverage to those displaced from employment and unable to afford insurance policies, either COBRA or individual coverage.

3. How will the Medicaid system, already unable to attract the vast majority of physicians and other healthcare providers to accept assignment, ensure access to care for new, let alone existing, enrollees?

4. How will remaining available hospital emergency departments (those which have not been shut down for lack of funds and/or staff), and other resources misused for primary care access, cope with the onslaught of new patients that will surely result from the new source of funding?

As if more reasons were needed, the incremental approach to universal healthcare coverage, although a liferaft in appearance for some, is rife with systemic challenges, which would be more seamlessly addressed by the careful design, passage and efficient implementation of a single-payer universal healthcare system. (I had to state the obvious in a Hail Mary effort to retain my sense of humor from the absurdities cited above and so many more)!

5. Why are lawmakers fixated on bank executives' compensation, which is like shoplifting or petty larceny (in relative terms), and not focused on grand larceny, in figurative terms, which was perpetrated by banks in their overall egregious business practices, inclusive of defrauding homeowners? I recognize that the former are more sensational and easier to understand. But I am confident that the DOJ has acquired the intellectual prowess to explore these more outrageous issues now that Bush is gone and President Obama is with us.

6. Will Secretary Geithner follow Secretary Paulson's practice of contracting with CPA firms, some of whose clients are recipients of the economic bailout, to be the auditors and accountants for the government's bailout program--in other words, will the foxes remain in the henhouse?

7. If economic stimulus money, loaned to large corporations through the banks utilizing taxpayer money, results in or coincides with massive layoffs, is it conceivable that taking the stimulus money back from the banks--which lent to corporations to fuel more greed, plus additional funds--would result in massive hiring? Obviously, I am not an economist, but given the logic suggested above, it might make sense!

Terry Brauer

Chicago, IL

Feb 12 2009 - 1:46pm

Web Letter

The first governments were created to protect the rich from the great unwashed masses. Nothing has changed!

Dennis Long

Santa Monica, CA

Feb 11 2009 - 1:57pm

Web Letter

They put Al Capone in jail for tax evasion, and I'm sure, with a little forensic accounting, we can put them all in jail. Call me old-fashioned, but I believe that no one is above the law, and I want them all serving long prison terms. I would say agree to "all of the above" on your list of reasons for people to be angry. However, what sums it up for me is they are destroying my country and the Constitution, which I have sworn, at least three times, to protect. This country is not perfect, and it is a constant struggle to live up to the standards set forth in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and subsequent civil rights amendments. But these documents are the real America, and they make me an American.

Pervis James Casey

Riverside, CA

Feb 7 2009 - 6:37pm

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