Suicide bombings in Saudi Arabia? To which our feckless leader responds,
Mr. Bush called the bombings "despicable acts committed by killers whose only faith is hate." The crowd of 7,000 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds roared its approval when he said, "The United States will find the killers, and they will learn the meaning of American justice."
Correct me if I'm in error here but when there's a suicide bombing, is there anything left one can apply justice to? Apparently there are 7K Hoosiers who think so. :) Maybe we'll find out they're ................................Syrian!!!!!!
It's bad enough that the FCC's pushing to de-regulate everything and create a megla-corp.........but the slow creep towards customer monitoring is unnerving. UNTUBE THE TUBE! Good news this week is that it appears as though the Iraqi curators were planners. Bad news is, I was secretly praying something would show up on ebay, I've been wanting an artifact of some sort. This week's best piece of controversial writing could be fiction, could be fact. Either way, I like her writing and would buy the book if published.
Blog to visit: Patriot Boy my god, this guy is funny.
Caption this photo.........
- "Separation of what?"
- "Crusade? You ain't seen nothin' yet!"
In his own words and in reference to Norman Mailer, Dennis Miller has summed up his career, "he's effectively been rendered totally irrelevant". Speaking of irrelevant, it seems as if our elected officials are secretly members of the "Pave the Earth" Society.
Test results: You are 44.76% pure
Average Score: 68.6%........hmmmmmm.
Today's non-sequitorial entry
I pay taxes. I pay a lot of taxes. I'm happy to pay those taxes as long as I can be guaranteed they're are going to fund; schools, highways, SSI, etc. It's the mismangement of the government's funding I'm appalled at.
Maybe it's the new parent in me or the inherent reactionist talking, but when I see this, and then statistics like, this, this, this and this.............it makes me wonder who's the actual state sponsor of terrorism.
For anyone who knows a teacher or public service worker, this is an important bill to vote for by today - May 1. It is a new bill that would eliminate the Government Pension Offset/Windfall Elimination Provision and pass the new Social Security Fairness Act. Among other things it would reverse a previous bill that keeps teachers from receiving Social Security and teacher retirement - even though they have to pay into both.
It's easy to send a message to the congressmen in you area regarding the Social Security offset that will be heard in the House :
Click on Social Security below
Click on "to join in the effort..." at the bottom of the page
Type in your zip code
Click on "Submit Message"
To view this article on the web, go to http://www.nea.org/socialsecurity/hr594-s349.html
House panel sets May 1 hearing
on unfair Social Security offsets
The Social Security Subcommittee in the U.S. House of Representatives has scheduled a hearing for May 1 on the Government Pension Offset (GPO) and Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP). The GPO and WEP, which NEA is fighting to eliminate, unfairly reduce earned Social Security benefits for as many as 6 million federal, state, and local government employees, including many teachers.
Meanwhile, the NEA-backed Social Security Fairness Act of 2003 (H.R. 594/S. 349) that would completely eliminate the GPO and WEP continues to gain cosponsors in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate.
Filed by Representatives Buck McKeon (D-CA) and Howard Berman (D-CA), the House bill now has 182 cosponsors (plus the District of Columbia's non-voting Representative) -- and the number is growing almost daily.
H.R. 594 is identical to H.R. 2638 in the last Congress. The proposed legislation had 187 cosponsors in the House last year, but was not allowed to come up for a vote by the House leadership.
Senators Diane Feinstein (D-CA) and Susan Collins (R-ME) have introduced the same legislation in the Senate as S. 349. Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Ernest Hollings (D-SC), and Jim Jeffords (I-VT) are the latest to sign on to the Senate bill, bringing the total number of cosponsors to 17.
The GPO penalizes individuals who have dedicated their lives to public service, often at substantial financial sacrifice. Nationwide, more than one-third of teachers and education employees, and more than one-fifth of other public employees, are not covered by Social Security, and are, therefore, subject to the Government Pension Offset. These individuals lose benefits earned by their spouses -- benefits they counted on in planning their retirement.
Offset has harshest impact on those who can least afford loss
The Government Pension Offset (GPO) reduces public employees' Social Security spousal or survivor benefits by two-thirds of their public pension. Estimates indicate that 9 out of 10 public employees affected by the GPO lose their entire spousal benefit, even though their deceased spouse paid Social Security taxes for many years. Moreover, these estimates do not include those public employees or retirees who never applied for spousal benefits because they were informed they were ineligible.
The offset has the harshest impact on those who can least afford the loss: lower-income women. Ironically, those impacted have less money to spend in their local economy, and sometimes have to turn to expensive government programs like food stamps to make ends meet.
In congressional testimony, NEA offered these real life examples of how the GPO impacts education and other public employees:
Stella, an NEA member, worked for over 20 years in the Colorado public school system as a teacher's aide. She receives a monthly pension of $637. Her husband worked in the private sector, paying into Social Security for 50 years. After her husband's death, Stella expected to receive $520 a month in survivor benefits. However, the GPO reduced Stella's survivor benefits by 2/3 of her public pension. As a result, Stella only receives $96 a month in Social Security. Her total monthly income is $733, instead of the $1157 she would have gotten if not for the GPO.
NEA member Martha began working as a teacher in Texas in 1978. Martha's husband worked in the private sector and paid into Social Security. Based on his earnings, Martha should have been eligible for $970 in widow's benefits. However, Martha has also been told that, should she outlive her spouse, her widow's benefits would be reduced by 2/3 of her public pension, or by $949 a month. Therefore, her $970 benefit would be reduced to only $21 a month.
WEP can take away up to 60% of earned benefits
NEA's congressional testimony went on to explain that the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) reduces the earned Social Security benefits of an individual who also receives a public pension from a job not covered by Social Security. While the amount of reduction depends on when the person retires and how many years of earnings he or she has accumulated, many public employees can lose up to 60 percent of the Social Security benefits they earned in other jobs.
NEA member Bob worked for many years in Oklahoma in jobs covered by Social Security before moving to California and becoming a teacher. He was informed by the Social Security Administration that he would receive approximately $360 a month based on his earlier earnings in the private sector. However, when he retired, Bob discovered his Social Security benefit was reduced to $172 a month because of the WEP. Bob calculates he loses $2,196 a year, because of the WEP and has already lost nearly $11,000 in total.