Thursday, January 13, 2005

Musing 10.1.1---WMD's

This is just a brief note to make mention of the closing of the search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

They did not find any.

They did not find one.



Not one.


1,300 lives and counting...tick, tick...

Musings 10--"when their lips move..."

I know that I said that I was going to have some New Year's here it is: I will not make any New Year's Resolutions.

Wouldn't it be nice if all promises were that easy to keep?

Social Securtiy: Crisis or not?

Mr. President is taking on social security. Why he has decided to do so is quite unclear...or fuzzy.

I have been reading everything that I can find about social securtiy. Basicly, the system is fine until 2015 or 2018. Exact years are hard to come by until exact numbers come in, but most experts and the 2004 Annual Social Security and Medicare Trust Fund Report (ASSMTFR) feel that this is a safe span of time. (I feel I must say that the ASSMTFR lends itself to be called the ASSMETER Report. So now I've said it, and I can go onward.)

According to the ASSMTFR on page ten, listed under key dates for the Trust Funds, it states the following: The first year outgo exceeds income is 2018. The first year outgo exceeds income including interest is 2028. The year trust fund assets are exhausted is 2042.

Keeping the above paragraph in mind...where is the crisis? It needs to be dealt with, for sure. But, in case everyone has forgotten, this is 2005. We have 13 years till we are spending more than we're making and 23 years before we have exhausted the earned interest.

The system needs to be upgraded. No one will argue this. However, there is no crisis Mr. President. (He used that word several times yesterday in referring to social security.) As a matter of fact, there is the possibility of four more Presidents, depending on reelections, coming and going before social security hits critical mass. Most likely everyone of these future leaders will have their own take on the situation. Chill out and study the problem, Mr. President. We don't need any more fuzzy math.

So I guess it,s like the cons used to say about Clinton: How do you know if he's lying...his lips are moving. For Mr. President we can say: If there is no crisis...invent one. Kinda like WMD's.

One last educational note:

Thre are four separate trust funds. Social Security has two: Old Age and Survivors Insurance and the Disability Insurance Trust Fund. Medicare has two: Hospital Insurance and The Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Fund known as Part B.

The trust fund that is growing the fastest is Medicare Hospital Insurance. It ran out last year, 2004, and is now eating up the other trust funds. Maybe we should get a handle on it. Absolutely, you say. Pass medical malpractice caps and it will hold down medical costs. Well, ah, let us cite Texas. Yep, the place that Mr. President is from. They capped out at $250,000 on malpractice suits. The top four insurance companies in Texas rose between 16 to 35 per cent last year. How do you think that will work nationwide. Oh, boy!

Now for something completely different.

It was 70 degrees here in Huntington, WV yesterday. A new high for January 12th. It must be a sign of the times. The end is no doubt nearer. If there was a rumor of war, I'd be worried. Whoa, you say, there is a war. Yep, but it isn't a rumor of war...its a fact. We're good for another day...maybe.

The old print shop is considering some changes...stay tuned for new developments.

Keep it real...till later.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Musings 9 -- "It's January, again..."

So the bushies are trying to change the law--once more--so they can keep reserve soldiers longer on active duty. Take a look at the current story. It makes you think that we are in a pucker for more manpower, and that the current use of the guard and reserve is closer to abuse than use.

Governor Bill Richardson, D, New Mexico, is sponsoring a bill in his state that will have the state pick up the tab of $250,00 life insurance policy for any trooper serving from his state. He stated in an interview with "Imus in the Morning" that the cost would be about $800,000; thus, he is going to ask his state government to fund $1 million per year until the war is over. He said that he already has members of both parties in his state willing to support such a bill. Most of us talk a pretty good line when we say that "we support the troops." Bill Richardson is walking the walk rather than talking the talk. Every governor in every state should follow suit...they won't, but they should.

Governor Richardson also said that in New Mexico they were going to change the tax form so that tax payers could check off an amount of their refund to go to familes that have lost loved ones in the war. Again, this is so smart and simple. Now let us see if anyone follows suit.

On the list of things that make you say...hmmmm:

Armstrong Williams, a talk show host, was paid by the Department of Education $240,000 to promote the No Child Left Behind Bill-- a rather republican Bush bill. So let me see, my tax money is going to a right-wing spinner to promote a bill that many feel was left behind after it was passed. It is pretty good when the president has to pay his own gas-bags to push his legislation. You can't make this stuff up.

Now for something completely different:

It is raining and cold. Next week we are suppose to have weather in the 70's. It's January...where is the snow? Not a lot, just a little. Oh, well....

Things are starting to pick up at the old print shop. It has been a little slow around here, of late.
Maybe we'll even make some money this month. Or, maybe goes on.....

Gray outttttttttttt............fade to black!

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