A round-up of news items, columns and blog posts that caught our eye last week (yes, we're a little late with our usual weekend feature).
B-Daddy at The Liberator Today sees parallels between benefits-related teachers' union messes here in Southern California (National City) and that of Central Falls, Rhode Island.
There's a juicy little twist to the story out here, however, that would lead one to believe there is more going on than what meets the eye. Read about it here.
Over at Flight into Egypt, Leslie has updates with respect to Kermit Gosnell, the butcher of an abortion doctor in Philly, here.
So abortion and specifically this Gosnell case are not tea party issues? Perhaps. But ask yourself something: Even if you are pro-choice and even if you are not opposed to the tax-payer funding of abortion, should not one expect those tax-payer subsidized services to be provided in a safe, sanitary and legal manner? Certainly the Gosnell case has exposed a network of willful ignorance and dereliction of duty that should alarm (and sicken) any tax payer. The fact that we shouldn't allow our tax dollars to brutalize the defenseless transcends any tea party litmus test, does it not?
So, this must be more of that new civility we keep hearing about from the Liberal-left...
Use of Nazi symbols at a protest outside a conservative conference sponsored by the Koch Brothers over the weekend in Rancho Mirage, California and which was attended by Rep. Eric Cantor (D-VA), Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) and Rush Limbaugh among others.
According to an eye-witness who contacted me by e-mail, protesters shouted "traitors," held signs that said "Koch Kills" and chanted "No justice, no peace" outside the hotel.Read more about it here.
A Koch representative whom I contacted had this comment on the day's events: "This is the kind of 'civil debate' the left wants to have after Tucson?"
Good news: Social Security now running a deficit and expected to go flat broke in about 25 years.
Social Security's finances are getting worse as the economy struggles to recover and millions of baby boomers stand at the brink of retirement.
New congressional projections show Social Security running deficits every year until its trust funds are eventually drained in about 2037.
This year alone, Social Security is projected to collect $45 billion less in payroll taxes than it pays out in retirement, disability and survivor benefits, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday. That figure swells to $130 billion when a new one-year cut in payroll taxes is included, though Congress has promised to repay any lost revenue from the tax cut.
The massive retirement program has been feeling the effects of a struggling economy for several years. The program first went into deficit last year, but the CBO said at the time that Social Security would post surpluses for a few more years before permanently slipping into deficits in 2016.
The President paid Social Security reform some lip service during his State of the Union speech last week but a person for whom not taking strong leadership positions and voting present seems to be his M.O., don't expect any real action towards reform. With a Democratic President and a Republican House, it would seem that this would be the time to make it happen. Shame that it won't.
Photo above was attached to the linked article and we think it's suggesting that counting on Social Security is a risky proposition, a gamble, if you will. If only that were the case. We know exactly the condition and trajectory of Social Security.
More on the "new civility" front: Cat Vomits on Sofa; Climate of Hate Blamed.
Our buddy Harrison wonders what a state bankruptcy may look like should it occur.
We can expect a soap opera to play itself out over the coming 2-3 years as state budgets head for a crash and legislatures and governors beg for Washington to help make up the difference, sort of a GM-style bailout for them. Republicans will certainly oppose this and Democrats and Big Union will play the only card they have left: call for civil disobedience on the grounds that the American way of life is being destroyed by evil Conservatives.
The same thing is playing out in Europe as Big Union thugs firebomb banks, set fire to cars, attack police, and conduct work slowdowns and strikes which disrupt the economy and hurt private businesses.
The bankruptcy cramdowns of Chrysler and GM have provided a template for how it may go down. And as for optics: Union thugs "protesting" in front of private residences? Ho-hum. Private citizens peaceably assembling on behalf of free markets and limited government? Why, they're a bunch of subversive and bigoted nut jobs prone to violence.
And finally, file this one under "Imagine if Bush had tried this":
A controversial bill handing President Obama power over privately owned computer systems during a "national cyberemergency," and prohibiting any review by the court system, will return this year.
Internet companies should not be alarmed by the legislation, first introduced last summer by Sens. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), a Senate aide said last week. Lieberman, an independent who caucuses with Democrats, is chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
"We're not trying to mandate any requirements for the entire Internet, the entire Internet backbone," said Brandon Milhorn, Republican staff director and counsel for the committee.
Instead, Milhorn said at a conference in Washington, D.C., the point of the proposal is to assert governmental control only over those "crucial components that form our nation's critical infrastructure."
Why does the fact that it appears to be a bi-partisan effort worry us even more?