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Archive for July, 2011

Aaron (Schock) and Me on Social Securiy and Debt Ceiling

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Following is the correspondence I have endured with my Congressman over the last few days:

Representative Schock,

Two days ago I inquired about the possibility of social Security Checks being delayed or canceled, as I am a Social Security pensioner. You responded as follows:

Dear Mr. Jones,

Thank you for contacting me with regard to the payment of Social Security monthly benefits in the event of a government default.

In the event of a government default, the government would lose authority to borrow more money, but it still will continue collecting regular tax revenue—which is substantial. The President is then responsible for prioritizing government expenditures, so it is up to him to decide which obligations are to be met. I see no reason whatsoever that President Obama would voluntarily chose not to pay Social Security recipients on time for the full amount of your monthly benefit.

I further believe—but cannot guarantee—that if the President were to chose to hold up Social Security checks that the Congress would ensure payments would be made up to recipients very quickly once an agreement on raising the debt limit is reached. But again, I see no need to interrupt Social Security benefits for even a few days.

Most importantly, I am hopeful that we will avoid such a situation entirely by reaching an agreement soon from the intense negotiations which are ongoing.

I absolutely understand how deeply many seniors rely on their Social Security checks for basic needs and that any interruption in benefits—even if only for a few days—would cause great difficulty for many seniors. As one member of Congress, I intend to do everything in my power to prevent that from happening.

These negotiations are contentious and intense because of the tremendous consequences for our country. We have to stop borrowing money because sooner or later it needs to be paid back with interest. It is immoral for the current generations of Americans to enslave the next generations to a mountain of debt.

Current plans to deal with the deficit take great pains to ensure that everyone over age 55 will keep receiving 100% of both your current Social Security benefits and stay on the current Medicare program. Again, there is absolutely no reason to delay the payment of Social Security benefit checks for even a few days because of any plans to deal with our national debt.

I do not support measures to change or reduce Social Security or Medicare benefits for current retirees or those about to retire in the next ten years. Beyond that, we are working on strengthening both programs to meet the needs of the next generations of Americans to retire and support themselves financially.

Thank you very much for contacting me. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future with regard to this or any other issue.

Sincerely,

My reply to you is this:

You and your party are wrecking this nation’s economy with your phony deficit hysteria. You are going to put millions more out of work and into poverty. How do you sleep at night?

I am sick of your talking points. Pull your head out and start thinking for yourself instead of parroting whatever madness Grover Norquist tells you to spout.

If I miss any Social Security checks I will hold you and your party responsible.

The GOP should grow up and govern or go out of business. Much more of this nonsense and maybe the voters will put you out of business.

Sincerely,

Larry Jones

Norway Massacre and Bombing Suspect Is a Blond Norwegian

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Earlier today, late afternoon Norway time, a government office building in Norway was destroyed by an improvised explosive device (bomb). Reports on this event were quickly followed by news of a shooting at a Norwegian Labor Party youth camp. Reports this evening are that the death toll at the shooting is 80 and rising.

I learned of the bombing ans shooting as I learn of so many things by surfing the ‘net. I noted this afternoon, as I drifted around the inter tubes, that commenters at many sites were blaming Muslims, as is their custom. Their narrative is structures so that terrorism = Jihad.

It is still too early to speculate and there are a lot of details to be learned about these events. The Norwegian authorities have barely begun their investigation after all. But they do have a suspect in custody.

Norway’s TV2 reports:

The 32-year-old Norwegian Anders Behring Breivik set Friday night in a police interrogation after he was arrested after the shooting of vermin.

Right-wing
According to TV2’s sources, the arrested belong to the right-extremist groups in eastern Norway, and the man must have registered two weapons on their name – an automatic weapon and a pistol of the type of Glock.

Here is what the suspect looks like:


Huffington Post reports
that Breivik had a Twitter account. He had over 100 followers, followed no one and tweeted only once, saying, “One person with a belief is equal to the force of 100 000 who have only interests.”

The people of Norway must be stunned and horrified. This will be a day remembered in grief for generations. The senseless loss of over 80 young people will no doubt be keenly felt by all of that small nation’s citizens, not just the families of the victims. All North Americans can do is sympathize and try to understand the pain Norway must be feeling.

The right in the U.S. and Canada will have difficulty trying to incorporate this incident into any war on global (meaning Muslim) terrorism

Written by slothropia

July 22nd, 2011 at 9:01 pm

You Don’t Need a Weatherman to Know Which Way the Wind Blows

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I am reliably informed by Think Progress that Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins are both opposed to any cuts to Social Security and Medicare benefits.

This proves that such cuts are opposed by almost everybody. I wonder if President Obama is aware of this fact. I am beginning to wonder if he wants to be a one term President. He is certainly doing all he can to alienate the people who voted for him in 2008.

Last week when it was reported that Obama had put Medicare and Social Security “on the table”, liberals and progressives exploded in rage. Fifty bazillion signatures were attached to who knows how many petitions against such a move. I, along with many others contacted the White House directly to make my position known.

To no apparent effect. Today we learned that Obama has offered to raise the eligibility age for Medicare. That hole he is digging is getting close to six feet deep, and such a hole is hard to climb out of.

Written by slothropia

July 11th, 2011 at 9:14 pm

Shorter Krugman: Obama is a Republican

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Paul Krugman tries to figure out why the President seems to downplay Keynesian responses to the ongoing economic nightmare:

I’m not alone in marveling at the extent to which Obama has thrown his rhetorical weight behind anti-Keynesian economics; Ryan Avent is equally amazed, as are many others. And now he’s endorsing the structural unemployment story too.

SNIP

The question then is why. As I’ve tried to show many times, the facts overwhelmingly refute the anti-Keynes talking points. Neither the invisible bond vigilantes nor the confidence fairy have made an appearance. So why is Obama talking up those talking points?

OK, here’s an unprofessional speculation: maybe it’s personal. Maybe the president just doesn’t like the kind of people who tell him counterintuitive things, who say that the government is not like a family, that it’s not right for the government to tighten its belt when Americans are tightening theirs, that unemployment is not caused by lack of the right skills. Certainly just about all the people who might have tried to make that argument have left the administration or are leaving soon.

And what’s left, I’m afraid, are the Very Serious People. It looks as if those are the people the president feels comfortable with. And that, of course, is a tragedy.

In other words, the reason Obama acts like a moderate Republican is because he is a moderate Republican.

Meeting adjourned,brothers and sisters. the bar is open and I’m gonna use it.

Written by slothropia

July 6th, 2011 at 8:36 pm

Happy Canada Day! Stan Rogers Northwest Passage and Mary Ellen Carter

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Written by slothropia

July 1st, 2011 at 4:15 pm