June 11, 2013

Cincinnati’s pension costs threaten to eat it alive

Filed under: Soc. Sec. & Retirement,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 5:15 pm

Its defined-benefit plans are unsustainable.

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This column went up with minor edits at Watchdog.org earlier this afternoon.

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In a story which should have stayed on its home page for several days but instead was gone within hours, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported on Saturday that the City of Cincinnati must pay at least $85 million into its $2 billion pension and retiree health care system next year.

Cincinnati is alone among Ohio’s major cities in that its employees do not participate in any of the state’s five statewide retirement systems.

In the past year alone, the Enquirer’s Cliff Peale notes, the Cincinnati Retirement System’s unfunded liability has ballooned by 22 percent to a whopping $870 million, or just under $3,000 for each man, woman and child living within the city’s limits.

Not that it’s much consolation, but the city is far from alone.
(more…)

Tuesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (061113)

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

Rules are here. Possible comment fodder follows. Other topics are also fair game.

(items below were added at 7:30 a.m.)

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The New York Times has acknowledged a 15-year global warming “plateau” “even as greenhouse gases have accumulated in the atmosphere at a record pace.”

Further, “The slowdown is a bit of a mystery to climate scientists. … the practitioners of climate science would like to understand exactly what is going on. They admit that they do not.”

Yet we’re supposed to submit to a complete overturning of the world economic order to combat “climate change.” Horse manure.

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Rush Limbaugh: “The Question is Not Whether the Obama Regime Will Survive, But Will America as Founded Survive the Obama Regime?”

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CBS News (video is at link):

State Department memo reveals possible cover-ups, halted investigations

CBS News’ John Miller reports that according to an internal State Department Inspector General’s memo, several recent investigations were influenced, manipulated, or simply called off. The memo obtained by CBS News cited eight specific examples. Among them: allegations that a State Department security official in Beirut “engaged in sexual assaults” on foreign nationals hired as embassy guards and the charge and that members of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s security detail “engaged prostitutes while on official trips in foreign countries” — a problem the report says was “endemic.”

In a total non-surprise, a Kennedy is involved in the interference.

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Girl Scouts USA, which sold out to homosexual militancy and promiscuity apologists decades ago, has become even more problematic:

GSUSA simply is not what it says it is. Instead of remaining neutral on issues like abortion, as they promised, the Girl Scouts fund and hang out with aggressive abortion rights advocates …

Given all of this, who the Girl Scouts have become is clear to me. And unfortunately, they certainly are not the positive influence on girls they once were.

Indeed. As noted elsewhere, “Girl Scouts is driven by a liberal ideology far out of step with the families and churches that support them.”

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Can’t make this up: The National Organization for Marriage is demanding that the Internal Revenue Service identify who leaked its donor list. The IRS has told the group, in Peggy Noonan’s words (HT Ace via Instapundit), “that the law prohibiting the disclosure of confidential tax returns also prevents disclosure of information about who disclosed them.”

The leaker broke the law and should be prosecuted. The IRS is protecting that person or person.

This is open-and-shut obstruction of justice.

Positivity: Pope gives children advice on facing doubts about faith

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Vatican City:

Jun 7, 2013 / 12:30 pm

Setting aside his prepared text, Pope Francis tackled questions from children about having faith in times of doubt, his friends and his favorite aspects of Jesuit spirituality.

“Walking is an art because if we always walk in a hurry we get tired and we can’t reach the end,” he said in response to an older boy who admitted he had doubts about his faith.

“Walking is the art of looking at the horizon thinking where I want to go, but also to accept the tiredness of the walk,” the Pope reflected.

“So many times the walk is difficult.”

Pope Francis received around 7,000 students from Jesuit-run schools in Italy and Albania, accompanied by their teachers, alumni and family members in Paul VI Hall on June 7.

The overall atmosphere was relaxed, with the Pope joking that his five-page set of remarks was “boring” and giving honest and sometimes funny answers to the children who posed questions.

The rapport Pope Francis had with the students inspired him to set aside his prepared address and speak off-the-cuff in a question and answer format.

“There are days of darkness and some days of falls, one falls, falls. But always think this, don’t be afraid of the failures, don’t be afraid of the falls,” he said as he continued his words of encouragement to the student with doubts. …

Go here for the rest of the story.