July 26, 2011

Dayton Paper’s ‘Seniors Fear’ Story Likely All Too Typical

If there’s a reason why Dayton Daily News staff writer Drew Simon wrote his Tuesday morning story (“Seniors fear losing Social Security checks”) other than to scare the elderly, I don’t know what it is.

Nowhere in his report did Simon say who was the first person to invalidly raise the specter of Social Security checks not going out on August 2 (it was President Barack Obama, in case you missed it). Nowhere did he mention that the likelihood is extremely remote, and that if it happens it would only be because the Obama Treasury Department decided to let it happen. Messy items like that distract from the main purpose. Oh, but Simon did get an apparatchik from AARP who also should and probably does know better to chime in on his behalf.

Here are a few paragraphs from Simon’s stench:

Seniors fear losing Social Security checks
One Dayton woman wonders how she will survive without it.

Trudy Steineman of Dayton receives $1,078 each month from Social Security, which represents about half of her monthly income.

Should Congress fail to raise the debt ceiling by next week and the government halts the distribution of Social Security checks, she wonders how she will survive.

“I wouldn’t be able to live,” said Steineman, who moved in with her youngest son Matt in December. “I have medical bills I’m trying to pay off.”

The 61-year-old Dayton retiree said she suffered two seizures and has back problems. Workers’ compensation contributes to the other half of her monthly income.

… More than 2 million Ohio seniors would be affected if Social Security checks are halted Aug. 2, according to Kathy Keller, associate state director of communications for AARP.

“What we’re doing is making sure that our congressmen and senators know that this is unacceptable,” Keller said. “For about one-third of the Ohioans who get Social Security checks, its 90 percent of their income. Those are the people that are going to be hurt the worst.”

As Dean Clancy at RedState explained: “… since those checks only cost $50 billion, compared to $170-200 billion coming in, there will obviously be sufficient funds to mail them.” Of course, you can’t rule out the Obama administration failing to send them (actually, in most cases, to electronically transfer them) to make a political point.

But that’s my point. Simon’s fact-free, blame-free, scare-tactic reporting is irresponsible, and conveniently implies that Congress and not President Obama, Tim Geithner, and their merry band of bankrupters will be to blame if the funds don’t go out.

One wonders how many times Drew Simon’s effort is effectively being duplicated in local papers, web sites, and broadcast outlets around the country. The answer is probably “way too darned many.” Oh, and there’s hardly a chance in Hades that Simon would have ignored what President Obama said if a Republican or conservative president had said it.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

No Need for a Detailed Afternoon Post

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 12:43 pm

Just go here (“‘I’m just quitting’: A scene right out of ‘Atlas Shrugged’ in Birmingham”; HT Instapundit). Also be sure to read the de facto POR (Pelosi-Obama-Reid) Economy testimonials in the comments.

The country approached the tipping point in early 2007 when statist Democrats took control of Congress. The roof collapsed in May-June 2008 when it became clear that a hostile, hardened, progressive redistributionist had a better-than-even chance of winning the presidency.

If you somehow still don’t understand why the economy hasn’t recovered and why employment growth is stalling — and why they won’t legitimately recover until Barack Obama and Harry Reid are either marginalized or removed from the powerful perches — read the comments at the post. If you still don’t get it after that, I really don’t know if you can be helped.

In progressive la-la land, this will of course be cured by a bunch of new tax increases. Sure, guys.

New Home Sales Stay in the Pits

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:55 am

In the BBO Era (Before Barack Obama), June was usually the best month of the year for new home sales.

Now it’s just another month on the calendar (Census Bureau release):

NewHomeSalesThruJune2011

June’s actual sales of 29,000 is the second-worst on record for any June going back as far as records go (1963). Only last year was slightly worse, when the semi-defensible excuse was that the Homebuyers Credit had expired in April.

(Not pictured) The Northeast’s seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 16,000 homes sold (as you can see above, only about 2,000 were actually sold) is lower than any other June on records going back to 1972 — by more than half. June 2010, 2009, and 2008 were 33K, 34K, and 34K, respectively.

Nothing a bunch of tax increases can’t cure. (/sarc)

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UPDATE: From Zero Hedge — “May Case Shiller Composite Misses Expectations, Yearly Drop Biggest Since November 2009.”

Lucid Links (072611, Morning): Ohio GOP Reps, Barbara Lee, China’s Train Wreck, and Gunwalker

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:05 am

Matt at Weapons of Mass Discussion had a strong rant last night on certain dingalings who call themselves Republicans taking up space in the state legislature in Columbus.

The latest example is Jarrod Martin, who has been cited for OVI-DUI-DWI … whatever they call “driving legally drunk” these days. Okay, he’s innocent until guilty, but how do you get yourself even close to having a problem with this?

The best question Matt asks is: “Anybody STILL think having a BAR at the statehouse is a good idea???” My answer, to paraphrase U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, is “Hell no I don’t!”

Look, I understand the deep human desire to pop a cold one or two as much as anyone, but whose ridiculous notion was this? Clearly, too many of these folks are already drunk … with power. The Buckeye State somehow survived 208 years without a bar at the Statehouse. Board the darned thing up — now.

At the current rate of about one per week, all the Democrats need to do to regain the majority is sit by and watch the Republican side implode.

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I knew it was only a matter of time before “the other Lee” in the U.S. House of Representatives weighed in with her “wisdom” on the federal debt situation.

Ten days ago, Houston-area Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee said that Republicans were resisting raising the debt ceiling because of Barack Obama’s race — which she apparently thinks is African-American. Sorry babe, it ain’t so; Obama is “50% Caucasian from his mother’s side. He is 43.75% Arabic, and 6.25% African Negro from his father’s side.”

“The other Lee” is California’s Barbara Lee, who is the only congressperson to vote against the post-9/11 war resolution authorizing the use of force in Afghanistan. Her take on the debt situation:

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) released a statement Monday saying the “debt crisis” has been “manufactured by House Republicans” who are “attempting to advance an extremist agenda.”

Yeah, and S&P and the ratings agencies are all in on the conspiracy. You go girl. (/sarc)

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Via Reuters (HT Zero Hedge): “China’s effort to muzzle news of train crash sparks outcry”

Government directives demanding journalists not question official accounts of a deadly high-speed train crash in eastern China are fueling public anger and suspicion about conflicting details of the accident, such as the death toll. The department also told media not to “investigate the cause of the accident”, and reminded journalists that “the word from the authorities is all-prevailing.”

Accounts of the media controls soon found their way onto the Internet, sparking debate and demands from ordinary Chinese for answers to questions not found in the official accounts.

“We have the right to know the truth!” wrote one microblogger called kangfu xiaodingdang. “That’s our basic right!”

Despite the directives, Chinese journalists chased after the Railways Ministry spokesman, Wang Yongping, after he tried to slip away after a 45-minute briefing on Sunday.

Chinese journalists are showing more courage — heck, even more basic curiosity — than America’s beat journalists are about the next item I will cover.

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Last Friday, in a mandatory read-the-whole-thing item for those who need to quickly catch up, Rodger Hedgecock chronicled the human and diplomatic carnage at Human Events (bolds are mine):

It looks like the Obama regime financed (partly with “stimulus” funds) an $80 million program to allow straw buyers to purchase hundreds of weapons from federally licensed gun shops in Southwest states, over the objection of the shop owners, and then allowed these weapons to “walk” across the Mexican border into the waiting arms of the murderous Mexican drug cartels.

At first, Justice Department spokesmen said it was a “sting gone wrong.” Then, when many pointed out that the ATF had no jurisdiction to follow the guns across the border to make arrests, the cover story fell apart.

… The explosive revelations continued. (Acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Ken) Melson told the investigators that during operation Fast and Furious, guns were bought by and sold to individuals connected with the Mexican cartels who were also paid informants for the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration. American taxpayers are funding all sides of this war.

The Mexicans are furious about all this. The Mexican congress has opened an investigation under the assumption that Obama’s operation was an act of war on Mexico. More than 200 Mexican law enforcement and military personnel have been killed in the last year by guns traced back to Gunwalker.

These guns, traced by serial number, have tragically also turned up at the scene of the murder of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent Jaime Zapata by cartel gunmen.

For those keeping score, the apparently reliable death toll cited above in the government-sponsored murder spree of Gunwalker is more than double that of the unspeakable mass murders committed in Norway.

Where oh where is the outrage?

The Chinese train wreck state censorship situation is awful, but it isn’t the government that’s keeping American journalists from questioning “official accounts” of Project Gunwalker. It’s the establishment press’s blind loyalty to a Punk President and a Gangster Government who have committed more outrages by far during their 2-1/2 years in power than any other president and administration during their full terms, at least in my lifetime.

Positivity: Postal Employee Saves Co-Worker’s Life

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:57 am

From Columbia, SC (video at link):

11:32 PM, Jul 15, 2011

You see your co-workers’ faces every morning, but what would you do if one day one of them wasn’t there, and there was no explanation?

For one post office supervisor, a feeling in his gut told him something was wrong and it possibly saved the life of his employee.

Cedric Jackson is a customer service supervisor at the Sandhills Post Office. He got here about five and a half years ago. Six months later, Cornelius Starks came on as a postal carrier.

“He’s usually here all the time. We generally have to force him to take off towards the end of the year,” says Jackson of Starks.

He didn’t show this past Saturday for work. “Around 9 or 9:30, I thought, ‘Wait a minute. Something’s wrong. He hasn’t called,” Jackson explains, “I went out to his home, knocked on the door, and no one answered. But I didn’t think anything was amiss.”

Starks is in his early 50s and in pretty good shape, Jackson says. Maybe he put in for a vacation that Jackson didn’t know about. “He normally comes in around eight on Mondays. I walked by his case, didn’t see him,” Jackson says. Jackson and another carrier went back to Starks’ home.

“I was nervous. I was very concerned, worrying about him. Wasn’t sure exactly what we would find, but I was hopeful,” he says.

This time, they dug deeper; spotting his keys, cell phone and glasses on a table through a window.

They called 911.

“Once they came out, they were able to get in and went inside and found Mr. Starks upstairs,” says Jackson.

Starks had had a stroke on Friday, officials say, and it left him unable to move himself from the floor. Jackson’s actions probably saved his life. …

Go here for the rest of the story.