Fight the power!

This story heaved itself upon us yesterday and we needed to share. Seems there is a new coalition that hates a deathly form of energy.

No it isn’t part of “Really Intrepid Nebraska” or any such group. This is just the regular ol’ People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (yup, PETA) which hates…windmills. Who could hate those majestic Prius-powering propeller props? Bird lovers.

You see, those giant sideways ceiling fan blades make quick work out of innocent flying animals — in this case the Tasmanian Wedge-tailed Eagle — and PETA has brought this to our attention. And “the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department reports that these sky-high blenders slaughter more than 440,000 birds annually, including protected species.” Do they just want new fangeled blades, or do they really want to outlaw all windmills and demand we get our power from safer forms of energy…like nuclear?

We dunno. But this isn’t the first time we have read complaints about windmills. There is a man from Nantucket…who is being driven crazy by the windmills. And they kill our friends the bats as well.

It is just a shame that we care about some of God’s creatures more than others do.

***

Onto more exciting news, 3rd District Rep. Adrian Smith already has a primary opponent for 2012! It is Dennis Parker of Columbus, who is a music director at his church.

Mr. Parker hates Shariah law and wants to be sure that it doesn’t infect our legal system.

Moving on…

***

The LJS’s Don Walton recently featured Hal Daub’s plan to fix Social Security.

You can read all the details in the article, but it is generally a bipartisan plan that could be relatively easily adopted.

Hal noted to us as well that,

Most Americans have one thing in common besides being citizens and having a drivers license, and that is a Social Security number, and it is neither Republican nor Democrat.

This very streamlined package is crafted to balance the program, maintain benefits for middle aged and older workers and retirees, provide better benefits to younger workers and make it pretty easy political to accept the minor trade-offs that far left and far right idealoges have.

This program is critical, more critical than Medicare, in fact, which is much harder to rebalance with a $50 Trillion deficit and is now entangled in the Federal Health Care Reform bill that in fact will make it even more fiscally insolvent.

Social Security accounts for 100% of all new monthly income for 30% of all retirees who live to begin collecting Social Security that pays for their rent, mortgage payments, utility bills, groceries, transportation expenses, etc – – living expenses, including some health insurance premiums, and over 50% of new income for living expenses for 50% of those retirees.

***

Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle is working to make it easier to get bank accounts. Easier, you say?  For whom?  How?  Why?

Well, there are people (cough-cough) who don’t have Social Security numbers (cough-cough) and they use check-cashing stations instead of banks. So bankers want these folks (cough-cough) to put their money with them instead.

Probably a win-win for bankers. And we aren’t real sure what the potential tax implications are for having money in the bank instead of in a mattress.

But some point out that this is yet another way to support those (cough-cough) who for whatever reason (cough-cough) don’t have Social Security numbers or other types of ID. And it cuts down one more obstacle to following the regular rules that everyone else has to follow.

You can decide where you stand on this, but it is something that may be worthy of debate.

***

And hey, how about Governor Dave hustling out to Illinois to lure Caterpillar to Nebraska?

Seems taxes are getting out of control in the Land of Lincoln and the Gov saw an opportunity to show them what The Good Life is all about.

(Wait, I thought the only way to increase revenue in the state is by raising taxes?)

***

This just in:

Miss America, Teresa Scanlan from Gering, Nebraska, at the Nebraska Breakfast in DC!

38 comments

  1. MacDaddy says:

    Didn’t President Obama set up some sort of bipartisan commission to address the national debt? Whatever happened to that? Oh, yeah, they came back with some good ideas, including reform of Social Security, and Obama thanked them for their service and told them to go home and shut up.

  2. Grundle King says:

    Seems like one person is curiously absent from that photo.

    Oh, and any bets as to how long it takes TexasAnnie to start venting her plutocrat rage at the news of Governor Heineman courting Caterpillar?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Anyone who thinks Social Security needs to be reformed is a drinker of the Fox / Right-wing Kool-Aid. Study the numbers and you’ll realize that only minor tweaks are needed. Now Medicare is a problem that must be addressed soon.

  4. GeosUser says:

    I’m so thrilled to see that Mayor Moron is working hard to make Omaha even more of a sanctuary city than it already is through the new “Bank On The Heartland” program. We need him to make it even easier and cheaper for illegal aliens to live and work here. This “Bank On” initiative comes out of southern CA which, like Omaha, is dealing with a large and growing illegal alien population. The “banks” need political cover to get around ID requirements for establishing bank accounts and the pols, like Mayor Moron, get to throw a bone to the Hispanic community while throwing some new business to local bankers who should feel appropriately motivated when it comes to campaign contributions. Our local bankers are going to “accept” Mexican and Guatemalan consular ID cards to establish accounts. I wonder if, when a paycheck is deposited, these bankers care that the Social Security number associated with that check is fraudulent???

  5. Oh Mander says:

    So private citizen Hal Daub just decided to offer up his plan to fix Social Security? Why? What is his end game here?

  6. Nathan says:

    I fully realize that it is heresy for me to say this, but with all do respect for Ms Scanlan, there were prettier ladies on that stage than you.

  7. Anonymostly says:

    Nathan, there are some points that simply aren’t worth making. Pity you don’t understand that.

    And Dennis, you calling our Congressional delegation beasts is like the pot calling the porcelain tea kettle black.

  8. Grundle King says:

    Nathan, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

    Sweeper…I like the crane sign, but my only suggestion would be “Pipelines” instead of “Bird Blinds”. I realize that you’re probably not advocating for the oil pipeline, but in light of those USFWS figures, I think cranes would definitely advocate for a pipeline.

    BTW, I can’t seem to find any hard figures, but based on the estimates I’ve seen, the oil spill probably killed less than 10,000 birds. No word yet if there were any western meadowlark deaths from the oil spill.

  9. Conspiracy Theory says:

    Grundle King,

    The bird data to which you are referring are probably housed on the missing British Petroleum laptop along with the personal information of the 13,000 individuals who experienced a loss from the oil spill. The broken laptop case will probably turn up in a Hastings dumpster and the hard drive will never be found.

  10. Huston Nutt says:

    I would hope that one of the Governor’s strong selling points with Caterpillar is that he is fighting tooth and nail to make sure Nebraska continues to have the 12th lowest cigarette tax in the country. Very inticing (cough, cough). I bunch of hacking line workers who have lots of health insurance claims.

  11. TexasMannie says:

    SEE SEE I TOLD YOU THAT NEBRASKA IS RUN BY PLUTOCRATS!!! WHEN WILL NEBRASKA LEARN THAT GIVING OUT CORPORATE WELLFARE WILL NEVER HELP ANYONE EVER?!!??!!?? I DON’T CARE IF CATEPILLAR WOULD SHIFT 23,000 JOBS TO NEBRASKA. IT’S NOT LIKE THOSE PEOPLE WOULD PAY THE UNGODLY PROPERTY TAX RATE OR THE STATE INCOME TAX! IMO ALL CORPORATIONS SHOULD BE STATE OWNED!

    By the way I’m sure Texas has never given any tax incentives to business. Well other than oil/Jerry Jones’ Playhouse/Enron/Etc./Etc./Etc.

  12. Greg says:

    @Anon 12:12, The latest data shows Social Security becoming insolvent in 2037 a mere 26 years from now. I think that the time for Social Security reform is now, not 15 or 20 years from now when the crisis becomes imminent.
    Medicare is also is dire financial trouble and also needs reform (8 years from now Medicare will not be able to pay all of its hospital bills).

    Kicking the can down the street hoping that someone else will fix Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid is no longer a viable option.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Greg you need to find better research sources. (Did you get this from Faux news?) The Social Security trust fund, which consists of Treasury Notes, is funded by excess contributions. During the Reagan presidency everyone realized (including Republicans, who were sane at the time) that baby boomers retiring would place a large burden on current workers. Before 1982 current inflows from paycheck deductions supported the current retirees. Since 1982 working folks have contributed an excess that was to be used to pay for their own retirements (and tax was only on income up to $80 – $100k; this cap rose over the years). We have reached the point where we need to use some of these funds to pay current retirees. In 2037 this fund is expected to be empty, but then we’re back to paying out only funds from current workers, the same situation as pre-1982. This is NOT insolvency. If nothing is done it is projected that only 80% of promised benefits could then be paid after 2037. A small rise in the income cap would easily solve this.

    Now I agree that Medicare is a problem and needs to be fixed now. But anyone who wants to “reform” social security is just a useful fool for those on Wall Street who want to tap these funds for their own enrichment.

  14. MacDaddy says:

    So Anon 9:33, you’re OK with cutting Social Security by 25% in 2037? (Actually, it will probably be sooner since people are taking early retirement rather than continuing to look for jobs.) I know Harry Reid is. He doesn’t want to discuss any changes to Social Security for the next 20 years. Unfortunately for you and your minor tweaks, he’s the Senate Majority Leader so that can is going to get kicked down the road. I agree that the problem with Social Security can be solved now with some relatively minor tweaks like raising the retirement age by a month every 2 years, however, we cannot count on Democrats, you know, the party that controls the Senate and the White House, to even discuss any type of reform. The Social Security train wreck is coming and Obama and the Democrats are hollering full steam ahead. Why do they hate future old people so much?

  15. Anonymous says:

    MacDaddy, you’re just an ideologue that doesn’t let facts get in the way. First, look more closely at demographics. If you look at life expectancy for those in the lower 50% percentile, it has barely risen. Especially when one looks at life expectancy for those currently at age 65. These jobs often involve manual labor. How many 60 – 70 year olds are still in good enough shape for this type of work? Raising retirement age inordinately impacts those who need it the most. And they are cheated because they will never proportionately get back as much as the richer 50%.

    Raise the cap now to $120,000, and possibly add a surtax for very high incomes. This would affect me since my annual income is slightly above the cap, but I’d have no problem paying extra.

  16. RWP says:

    The life expectancy for the bottom 20th income percentile is only 1.3 years lower than the top 20th percentile. Rich people do live longer than poor people, but by surprisingly little.

    And people with incomes of $50 K a year actually get the maximum return on social security over what they pay in. Both the very poor and the rich get less.

    The FICA cap is already increasing every year.

    But why do you need facts when you’re a leftist?

  17. Anonymous says:

    RWP, don’t know where you get your numbers, but mine come from the Social Security Administration. Looking at just male workers (since most females are not doing heavy labor where your body burns out), since 1974, life expectancy at age 65 (not age 0 as lower infant/child mortality skews the results as to the number of years a new retiree can expect to remain living) has increased by 1.3 years in the lower 50% income, but 6 years in the top 50%.

    Historically the FICA cap was set to capture 90% of wage income. Raising it back to this level would go a long way toward extending the trust fund balance and keeping the promised payout.

    Your deductive skills are lacking. How you can determine someone is a leftist when they correct the misconception that SS is soon to be insolvent is beyond me. The ideologue label seems to fit you also.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Why need facts when your a RWP? Anonymous 2:11 is correct. RWP is wrong again. Nothing new there. With friends like him us Republicans don’t need any enemies.

  19. RWP says:

    Google the phrase I quoted and you’ll get the exact source.

    Quoting from the Congressional Budget Office

    In 1980, the difference in life expectancy at age 65 between the highest and lowest socioeconomic groups was 0.3 years. By 2000, the difference had grown to 1.6 years.

    You can ignore 52% of the population if you want. I didn’t.

    Social security was not intended to be yet another means of income redistribution. Currently it is mildly redistributive. Remove the cap and it will be massive redistributive.

    Anonymous cowards @ 2:11 and 2:54 may now apologize.

  20. Anonymous says:

    There’s a reason to concentrate on men for my argument. Those in the lower 50% are barely living longer. Raising the age screws them and puts them in a situation where many can’t continue to work while still below the SS retirement age. But I guess they’re only numbers to folks like RWP. Yeah, it makes a lot of sense to increase the retirement age when those who need it most have only a 1.3 year life expectancy increase since 1974.

  21. RWP says:

    Barely living longer than what?

    In fact, the major effect of raising the retirement age is to differentially penalize men over women. That, however, doesn’t fit either the leftist ‘women and minorities most affected’ or the ‘class warfare’ memes, so you ignored it. For this reason I don’t support raising the retirement age. I don’t support raising the earnings cap. In fact, I would like to privatize or eliminate the whole scheme.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Privatize!!! You didn’t learn anything from the last few years. Let’s say we privatize just a portion of the system. And a person makes some bad investments. Or a corrupt system allows the market to collapse just before one’s retirement. Do we just let these people starve when their money runs out? I’m betting a majority of this country’s citizens would support a “bailout” of these unfortunates which would require more government expenditures. What’s the saying, “penny wise but pound foolish”.

    I love your black/white thinking process so typical of righties. Since I disagree with a poster, and you, I must be a leftie, and I must fit a specific meme. I suspect a bit of psychological projection on your part. My argument was primarily based on the male sex, which is why I only used the male life expectancy statistics. Do I have to explicitly say a higher retirement age penalizes men or can one easily infer that from my writing?

  23. Greg says:

    @Don Kuhns, Hey bud I hear yea. Let me ask you something how much has the “kinetic military action” in Libya already cost the United States?

    Hey what about ending the war in Iraq and Afghanistan?
    How about closing Gitmo?

    Bro, don’t be mad at me because Obama could deliver what he promised.

  24. Greg says:

    @Anon 9:33 I got my source from the Washington Post/New York Times. Social Security will begin to spend more money than it brings in beginning in 2016 and the trust fund will stop paying full benefits to retired workers by 2037. The article is from May 13, 2009 edition of the Washington Post. It’s great they have neat little graphs and everything. The New York Times article is from May 12, 2009 and states that “The Social Security Trust Fund will be exhausted in 2037, four years earlier than expected”. So we can all play semantics and says that Social Security won’t be “insolvent” in 2037, but when a trust is depleted in 2037 I call that insolvency. Think of it this way, if you have a balance of $0.00 in your personal bank account with no way of increasing said funds into said bank account, but a $10,000 line of credit at say 8% you are now insolvent.

    Hey that was quite a zinger at Fox News, but I like to pull my information from the all news sources and weigh them objectively, I got my sources from those Liberal Lions at the WaPo and New York Times…

  25. Anonymous says:

    Greg, the only way Social Security is insolvent in 2037 is if FICA is no longer deducted from wages. By your logic, Social Security was insolvent before 1982 because there was no trust fund then. I really don’t know if you don’t understand this, or just like throwing around erroneous talking points. It’s simple. The Social Security Trust Fund is not equivalent to Social Security.

  26. Greg says:

    Anonymous, I am not sure what you don’t understand. The Social Security Trust manager, on the orders of President Obama released a report in May of 2009 stating that Social Security will be insolvent in 2037. When Social Security starts paying out MORE than it takes IN, sooner or later you run out of money. Let me break this down for you in kiddie terms, you have one dollar and can get another dollar in a week, I take two of your dollars on week 1 leaving you with -$1. Week two I take two more dollars now you have -$2. Week three I take another two dollars now you have -$3. That is what is called insolvency, All you need to do is google Social Security insolvency and you can see the article from the New York Times and the Washington Post. You can even see Timothy Geitner saying that something needs to be done soon otherwise Social Security will die a painful death.
    Where are you getting your information? NymphoTV? see what I did there I took your “Faux News” shot and turned into a shot at AlGore (he invented the internet and likes to assault massages girls, allegedly).

  27. Greg says:

    I would also refer you to the Merriam Webster dictionary which states, Insolvency: having insufficient funds to meet debts and liabilities; bankrupt.

    So even if FICA is still being taken out of our paychecks, but it is not enough to cover all of debt and liabilities, which it won’t, that by definition is insolvency.

    Again to reiterate, When you have more debts than you do assets, i.e. more retirees who require benefits than workers paying into the system, that by very definition is insolvency.

    But, I don’t know what I’m talking about, I don’t have any facts to back up my bald assertions I just use “talking points”.

  28. Don Kuhns says:

    I am reposting this since it seems to be hidden and “awaiting moderation” because of an inadverdent link.(If Street Sweeper hates links so much, maybe he should change his program so that it doesn’t automatically create them) This goes out to Greg too:

    MacDaddy, you must be mistaking me for someone who gives a toot about Obama. I liken the guy to a character in Frank Herbert’s classic novel “Dune” named Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen. The role in David Lynch’s film version was played by Sting.

    The Dune wikia site has this to say about the character:

    “To promote Feyd’s power, he is to be installed as ruler of Arrakis after a period of tyrannical misrule by Glossu Rabban, making Feyd appear to be the savior of the people.”
    … “Feyd was both intelligent and charismatic, and was dedicated to the Harkonnen culture of sadism and cruelty.”

  29. Anonymous says:

    Greg, if you want to call SS insolvent in 2037, then by the strict definition of the word, I’ll agree with you. My main point is that in the scope of all of the problems facing this nation, SS is on the scale of a gnat’s bite. Raising the income cap or lowering future payouts would easily make SS solvent. On a scale of 1 to 10, SS insolvency is a 1 while Medicare and the entire Federal government rate a 9. Concentrate on the real problems. Those who inflate the SS “problem” generally do not want to see it work. Or they want some of its monies to go the Wall Street.

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