Monday, March 22, 2010

The War in Iraq

It was March of 2003 when we learned that we were at war with Iraq. Live coverage of the bombing of Iraq and the rush to gain control of Baghdad and find Hussian. Seven years later, confirmed US military causalities, 4,385, civilian employees of the US, 1,457, Non-US coalition deaths, 315. Thousands of mentally and physically wounded soldiers who will never be the same. Not to mention the suicides and POW MIA's.

It is only now, do we understand the role of mis-information, lies, political motivation and ego in a war that was unjustified.

We should never forget the sacrifices American soldiers made in Iraq, help those who suffer from the experience, and never allow our kids to go off to war, without good reason, if there is ever a good reason.

History was made last night, Health Care Reform passes.

If any of you watched the vote last night, you saw history being made along with the divisive polarity that has made a mockery of our democracy. The far left and the far right are alive and well. 35 Dems voted against their party and across the isle it was nothing but the same old worn out partisan arguments, game playing and re-election politics. Like many issues before them, the extreme views seem to dominate, while common sense and compromise are left off the table.

According to the WSJ, the winners in all of this are the drug companies and Insurance companies, as they will reap the huge customer influx in 2014 of about 34 million uninsured people. There is still much work to do on the bill and I wonder how many people will die, go bankrupt and suffer before any of this is actually enacted. And look for a bunch of States to join the claim that forced health care is un-constitutional.

The losers in all this? The top wage earners in this country, couples making over 250,000 a year will pay a 3.8% sir tax to help fund part of the program.

It does subsidize the lowest wage earners for health insurance in 2014, which would help Mass, but nothing about cost controls and fraud was part of the debate.

Mr. Lee and Lehman Brothers

As the feds dig deeper into who knew what and when, it was reported by the WSJ on Saturday that Mathew Lee, senior vice president at Lehman's, warned the company with a letter in May of 2008 that he believed "senior management may have violated Lehmans internal code of ethics by mis-leading investors and regulators about the true value of the firms assets".

Sooner than later, a few high ranking people at Lehmans will stand trial. Last week Senator Dodd asked for the Justice Department to investigate alleged accounting manipulation at Lehmans, stemming from a 2200 page examiners report.

And to add insult to injury, it was reported last week that the regulators who were charged with oversight are getting huge raises and bonuses.

Cahill and friends

According to the Globe, Tim Cahill, our State Treasurer, in 2002, 03, and 05 collected more than 100,000 dollars in campaign contributions from lawyers, property managers and real estate concerns, not from Massachusetts. The Globe uncovered that one man, Michael Ruane, a Boston Investment manager for TA Associates, who was allotted 500 million in state funds to invest since 2003, was getting these out of state companies to give to Cahill.

While not illegal, it sure does look unethical and appears to be a conflict of interest. Keep in mind, TA Associates has collected 34 million dollars in fees managing the 500 million in investments, chaired by Tim Cahill.

Another insider, gaming the system to his own benefit. What a shame.