Leftover thought from last year — The complainers that Social Security recipients are not getting an increase this year conveniently forget that they got a mighty generous 5.8% increase in 2009. The detailed calculation is on the fourth page of this document. That huge increase occurred because the third quarter 2008 vs. 2007 inflation calculation to determine that 2009 increase coincided with a time (third quarter ’08) when food and energy costs had peaked.
Overall prices fell after that, and still aren’t back to that quarter’s level yet, meaning that no 2010 increase still leaves Social Security recipients receiving benefits that are ahead of overall inflation at a time when the system has on a monthly basis started consistently paying out more in benefits (last item at link) than it is collecting in taxes — about eight years earlier than was anticipated before the POR (Pelosi-Obama-Reid) Economy kicked in.
Thus, Michelle Malkin was right when she wrote that the $250 repeat kicker that President Obama wants Congress to provide Social Security recipients has no financial basis, and is “a naked $13-14 billion bribe.”
Sugar Bowl aftermath: The University of Cincinnati had its clock cleaned by Florida in a football game that had more coaching baggage simultaneously favoring one team and going against the other than any I can recall in my lifetime.
The author’s evaluation at the linked piece confirms the validity of the concerns relayed/twittered by Brenda Loy at halftime, when UC was already down 30-3:
This is disastrous for future unbeaten Big East teams. Much more likely to be passed by 1-loss teams.
What Florida-Ohio State 2007 was for the Big Ten, Florida-Cincinnati 2010 will be for the Big East. Fair? No. True? Yes.
Lingering questions that will never be answered:
- Would former UC coach Brian Kelly have abandoned his team for the Notre Dame job as he did several weeks ago if Texas had lost to Nebraska (instead of lucking out by one clock tick) and UC had been booked for the national championship game against Alabama? Almost no one will agree, but I think if Kelly had stayed with UC, the team would have been competitive in any game against any college team.
- Did Kelly feel any remorse as he watch his former team get pommeled, and the football reputation of its conference harmed for years to come?
- Most seriously (I think) and not directly related to the game itself, why are the recordings of 911 calls presumptively public record (ESPN obtained a recording of the 911 call from Florida coach Urban Meyer’s wife)? I think it’s potentially dangerous. Has anybody thought about the fact that public-figure victims, even if only for a precious few seconds (i.e., possibly the difference between life and death), might falsely convince themselves that they’re “really OK” because they don’t want their loved ones to be exposed on 911 calls sounding panicky, crying, or otherwise “embarrassing” themselves? There’s already too much reluctance to call 911 in emergencies such as these.
Here’s a question that will get an answer, but it will take years: Will Brian Kelly ever get as close to having team in the national championship game? I think not, and frankly hope not. UPDATE, Dec. 10, 2012: Sadly, I was wrong and Notre Dame, for reasons described here, should be utterly ashamed of itself and condemned for its inaction.
A pathetic whine.
Forgotten until I did some site tweaking this weekend: Larry Summers supported across-the board tax cuts in late 2007.
Mark Steyn (“The Pantybomber wasn’t the big joke. We are”; paragraph breaks before and after Obama quote and its italicizing added by me), in a read-the-whole-thing item, as usual:
For three days, …. (Obama) remained silent — which I believe is a world record for the 44th president. …. And when the president finally spoke, even making allowances for his usual detached cool, he sounded less like a commander-in-chief addressing the nation after an attempted attack than an assistant DA at a Cook County press conference announcing a drug bust:
“Here’s what we know so far. . . . As the plane made its final approach to Detroit Metropolitan Airport, a passenger allegedly tried to ignite an explosive device. . . . The suspect was immediately subdued. . . . The suspect is now in custody and has been charged.”
Etc, etc, piling up one desiccated legalism on another: “Allegedly . . . ” “suspect . . . ” “charged . . . ” The president can’t tell an allegedly alleged suspect (which is what he is in Obama fantasy-land) from an enemy combatant (which is what he is in cold hard reality). But worse than the complacent cop-show jargonizing was a phrase it’s hard to read as anything other than a deliberate attempt to mislead the public: The president referred to the Knickerbomber as an “isolated extremist.” By this time, it was already clear that young Umar had been radicalized by jihadist networks in London and fast-tracked to training in Yemen by terror operatives who understood the potentially high value of a Westernized Muslim with excellent English from a respectable family.
But, if it takes the White House three days to react to an attack on the United States, their rapid-response unit can fire back in nothing flat when Dick Cheney speaks. “It is telling,” huffed the president’s communications director, Dan Pfeiffer, “that Vice President Cheney and others seem to be more focused on criticizing the administration than condemning the attackers.”
“Condemning the attackers”? What happened to all the allegedly alleged stuff? Shouldn’t that be “condemning the alleged isolated attacker”? The communications director seems to be wandering a bit off-message here, whatever the message is: The system worked, so we’re inconveniencing you even more. The system failed, but the alleged suspect is an isolated extremist, so why won’t that cowardly squish Cheney have the guts to condemn the attacker and his vast network of associates?
The real message was conveyed by Fouad Ajami, discussing the new administration’s foreign policy in the Wall Street Journal: “No despot fears Mr. Obama, and no blogger in Cairo or Damascus or Tehran, no demonstrator in those cruel Iranian streets, expects Mr. Obama to ride to the rescue.”