An ER Physician’s take on guns

ER Physician and Army vet Dr. David Newman discusses gun violence in this NY Time op-ed:

I have sworn an oath to heal and to protect humans. Guns, invented to maim and destroy, are my natural enemy.

A Trilllllllllllllion Dollars

coin

According to Matt Yglesias at Slate, one possible way to avert the upcoming financial Armageddon of the debt ceiling crisis would be to mint in platinum $1,000,000,000,000 dollar coins, and use them to finance the government:

“…a ludicrous but perfectly legal solution is also available to him. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner can order the United States Mint to create large-denomination platinum coins—a $1 trillion coin, say, or a bunch of $10 billion coins—and use them to finance the government.

Really.

It all goes back to sub-section (k) of 31 USC § 5112 ‘Denominations, Specification, and Design of Coins.’ The opening subsections consists of boring specifications about the coins the United States issues. Subsection (k) says ‘The Secretary may mint and issue platinum bullion coins and proof platinum coins in accordance with such specifications, designs, varieties, quantities, denominations, and inscriptions as the Secretary, in the Secretary’s discretion, may prescribe from time to time.’

So there it is in black and white. Geithner can have the Mint create a $1 trillion coin. Then he can walk it over to the Federal Reserve and deposit it in the Treasury’s account. Then the government can keep sending out the checks—to soldiers and military contractors, to Social Security recipients and doctors who treat Medicare patients, to poor families getting SNAP and to FBI agents—it’s required by law to send—and the checks will clear. It’s a simple, elegant solution.”

Health Care Reform

“Obama hasn’t created the perfect plan, he’s created something arguably more impressive: a plan that actually might pass. That plan might not do enough to change the system, and it may not spend enough to protect everybody, but there is plenty in the proposal that will better the lives, health coverage, and financial security for millions of real people. It will insure around 30 million Americans and protect tens of millions more from insurer discrimination, medical bankruptcy and rescission. It will bring more evidence to medicine and more competition to the insurance market. That may not be perfection, but it is improvement. And it is achievable.”

Ezra Klein, blogger for the Washington Post

“Obama says he doesn’t want to demonize insurance companies–he just wants to hold them accountable.  This is the best line of the night.”

Megan McCardle, the Atlantic

“After an August in which the health care debate threatened to drive into a ditch, President Obama tried to steer it back into the center lane, if there is such a thing to be found on an endeavor so ambitious as remaking one-sixth of the economy. He defended the public option, and yet downplayed it. The package that he described is about the size of the framework released yesterday by Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus–$900 billion, which is the lower limit of what anyone is estimated that it would take over the next decade. And though he is not likely to get more than one or two GOP votes, Obama went out of his way to point out the ideas in his plan that can trace their parentage to the Republicans–including his former adversary, John McCain. And he laid on the table an issue that has been something of the Holy Grail to the right: tort reform.”

Karen Tumulty, Time Magazine blogger

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