“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Cooking the Numbers on Social Security

The Obama Administration needs three extra months to release data on how Social Security and Medicare is affected by Health Care reform?

They don't know how they changed and affected Social Security and Medicare?

Think about that. They don't know or they ain't saying. Pelosis was right. They don't know what they did, or more likely are horrified to admit what they did.

AP Source: Report on Social Security delayed

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is delaying release of the annual report on the financial health of Social Security and Medicare so that the new report can reflect the impact of the recently passed health care overhaul.

An administration official told The Associated Press that this year's trustees report will be delayed until June 30, three months later than it usually comes out.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity before the formal announcement, said Monday that the delay will allow the government to determine the impact of the massive overhaul of health care that President Barack Obama just signed into law.

In January, Richard Foster, the chief actuary for Medicare, estimated that the Senate bill which passed on Christmas eve would extend the life of the Medicare hospital trust fund by 10 years. The legislation that finally passed Congress was the Senate bill but with revisions approved to win House support.

The administration official said that passage last month of the health care overhaul legislation had made the trustees report, which usually comes out around April 1, obsolete. This official said the decision was made to incorporate all of the changes made by the legislation to better reflect reality now that Congress has passed health care overhaul.

The new health care law seeks to guarantee health insurance coverage for nearly all Americans while cracking down on insurance industry abuses. It also promises to reduce federal deficits by an estimated $143 billion over a decade.

The proposal was passed without any Republican votes. The GOP has vowed to work to repeal the measure and replace it with a less sweeping proposal that they contend would have the support of a greater number of Americans who are worried that the Democratic-sponsored plan will represent massive government intrusion into health care.

Last year's report of the trustees for Social Security and Medicare, the government's two biggest benefit programs, said that the Social Security trust fund would be depleted by 2041 and the Medicare trust fund would be depleted by 2019.

The trustees warned that the financial pressures would begin much sooner when the programs begin paying out more in benefits each year than they collect in taxes. Officials with the Congressional Budget Office say that Social Security will start paying more in benefits than it collects in payroll taxes this year for the first time since the 1980s.

Supporters of the new health care overhaul believe it will have a favorable impact on both Medicare and Social Security, extending the life of both trust funds.

The benefits would occur in large part through lowering health costs by expanding the pool of people buying insurance coverage.

For Medicare, that would result in a direct benefit in lower medical bills while the boost to Social Security would occur in an indirect way. If employers see their costs for health insurance fall, they would have more money to spend on employee salaries. Higher salaries would mean a larger amount of wages that would be subject to the Social Security payroll tax.

This year's trustees report would represent the most authoritative estimate on the impact those changes will have on both Medicare and Social Security.

The report will also estimate the impact the health care overhaul will have on the premiums that Medicare recipients must pay. Supporters of the overhaul believe those premium costs will fall.

The estimate that Social Security will pay out more in benefits this year than it collects in taxes is based on budget data produced by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. The CBO projects that because of a recession that cut the number of people working and paying payroll taxes, Social Security will be paying out more in benefits this year and for the next three years.

CBO analysts see Social Security returning to small surpluses in 2014 and 2015 before returning to indefinite deficits starting in 2016 under the impact of a rising number of the 78 million baby boomers retiring.


  1. So, there was a cash flow short fall, with regards Social Security, back in the 1980's.

    And there is another cash flow short fall projected, some time before 2041. As the article did not specify a more exact date for the cashing in of all those bonds that the SS Trust Fund has sold the Treasury.

    How did Ronald Reagan solve the Social Security cash flow challenge, back in the 1980's?

    From the 8JUN04 NYTimes

    ... the Social Security Reform Act of 1983, which followed the recommendations of a commission led by Alan Greenspan. Its key provision was an increase in the payroll tax that pays for Social Security and Medicare hospital insurance.

    For many middle- and low-income families, this tax increase more than undid any gains from Mr. Reagan's income tax cuts. In 1980, according to Congressional Budget Office estimates, middle-income families with children paid 8.2 percent of their income in income taxes, and 9.5 percent in payroll taxes. By 1988 the income tax share was down to 6.6 percent -- but the payroll tax share was up to 11.8 percent, and the combined burden was up, not down.

    Tax increases, that was the conservative, Ronald W. Reagan, solution, in the 1980's.

    I am sure that sometime, before 2041, there will be another tax increase, and the "short fall" will vanish, again.

    Just as it did under the stewardship of Ronald W. Reagan.

    If Obama proposes a Social Security tax increase, will he be courting Reaganomics?

    Will the GOP support that change in tax policy, as it did while RWR was President?

  2. There is no comparison. A demographic change and adjustment is and was necessary because of the extreme economic distortions cause by interest rates and inflation under Carter.

    It also had to adjust for the extension of benefits.

    Obama has distorted the entire health care funding mechanism and twisted government accounting to disguise the implications. He does this in front of a non-sceptical press and his adoring fans.

    Your point is contempt for Reagan or adulation for all things Obama?

  3. The point is neither of the above you mention.

    It is that both were and are accounting gimmicks.

    There is only tax revenue. It all goes to the General Fund.

    The surpluses that the SS Trust Fund has been running, since the 1980's will now be cashed in.

    But we're running on empty.
    To generous with Federal retirement benefits, to much "double dipping" by sharpies gaming the system.
    To generous with Medicaid for the elderly.
    To generous in our nation building efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq. To generous in Germany, Japan and Italy, defending them from nonexistent risks.

    To many Carrier Battle Groups
    To many tanks.

    The Federals have misplaced their priorities, since LBJ.
    They all have.

    Obama is just the current piece of flotsam behind the Resolute desk. No more, no less.

    Those that have paid to little, for the things that they have promised themselves, will now get less than they promised.

    Not to worry.

    It is the Federal Government, Deuce, not any particular President that one should be protesting.

    They have you in the caught in the personality loop and there is no way out.

  4. Maybe his point was, "let's drop the silly partisan rhetoric, and look at the facts for a change."

    First off, Never take CBO projections at face value. They are Always, positively, absolutely wrong.

    Second, 2040 is a long way off, and the "adjustment" necessary is very small.

    Third, we should have a healthier population turning sixty five, and joining Medicare in the future.

    And, the fourth, and most important thing, by far, is that 30 Million Americans will now have decent Healthcare - meaning we will no longer be the laughing stock of the Free World.

  5. Reagan, the "Conservative" icon saddled the United States with trillions of dollars of debt.

    He, a long time FDR Democrat, certainly was not anything but a RINO.

    With a conservative style and rhetoric.
    But just another Federal Socialist is all he was.

    Proof is in the performance and the balance sheet.

  6. What pisses me off is we can't do any reasonable accounting. One side of crazies is screaming about hallucinatory 1.8 Trillion Deficits as far as the eye can see, and the other side is claiming you can insure thirty million people for free. Nonsense reigns.

  7. So, obviously, it is not the debt nor the tax burden that is imposed by the Federals that seems to be the problem.

    Reagan's tax increases, "justified".

    Debt and tax increases that are Republican, that trillion USD we spent on and in Iraq, that was prudent.

    It really seems that it is the "Party" that has control of the levers that brings out the protests, not the policies pursued.

    The were a thousand points of Federally funded light that prove the point.

  8. We need 3 things to get back to very reasonable financial health. A return to 5% unemployment, a scaling back in the foreign adventures, and reasonably priced energy.

    Scaling back foreign adventures is easy. You just bring'em home.

    A return to 5% unemployment is a lot harder because it depends on number 3, reasonably priced energy.

    3 is where we're, potentially, in a World of Trouble. Liquid fuel is, in short order, going to get Really expensive. And, we Will stay in, basically, a no-growth mode, if not recession, until we get that one "figured out."

    It's mind-boggling.

  9. CNN International -

    By the CNN Wire Staff Washington (CNN) -- The United States will swear off the development of new generations of nuclear weapons and reduce its reliance on them in a sweeping overhaul of its nuclear strategy due out Tuesday.

  10. Leaked video footage shows Iraq journalists killed by US gunships

    Times Online -

    The video is graphic, and disturbing. As a group of men amble down a Baghdad street two US Army helicopters open fire, repeatedly shooting the men and gunning one down as he tries to flee.

  11. An afternoon's target practice?

  12. As far as it being a "battle", the pilot was somkin'.

    There was no battle.

    Just 'Death from Above".

    ... a van arrives to pick up the wounded and the pilots open fire on it, wounding two children inside. “Well, it’s their fault for bring their kids into a battle,” one pilot says.

  13. Just because promises were made, in the past, does not mean they will be fulfilled, in the future.

    California's three major public pension funds are collectively more than a half-trillion dollars underfunded if their projected investment earnings are adjusted downward to a "risk-free rate," a team of graduate students at Stanford University has calculated.

    The report, conducted under the aegis of Stanford's Institute for Economic Policy Research, bolsters Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's case for an overhaul of the state's pension systems.

    "The consequences are clear," Schwarzenegger said. "Increasingly large portions of state funding for programs Californians hold dear such as schools, parks and health care will be diverted to pay for this debt."

    Read more:

  14. "First off, Never take CBO projections at face value. They are Always, positively, absolutely wrong."

    Duh. Do you really think so Rufus?

    The CBO merely takes the assumptions they are given by Congress and projects the results. Dont' blame the CBO because both parties have taken rigging the system to an art form. We saw it from Bush in the way they structured the tax cuts and the drug program and we've seen it from the Dems on HCR.

    Try reading the annual Trustees' Report for SS and Medicare if you want some idea. Oh wait, you'll need to wait a few months.


  15. "...meaning we will no longer be the laughing stock of the Free World."

    I personally don't give a flying fuck what the rest of the world thinks of us.


  16. "In January, Richard Foster, the chief actuary for Medicare, estimated that the Senate bill which passed on Christmas eve would extend the life of the Medicare hospital trust fund by 10 years. The legislation that finally passed Congress was the Senate bill but with revisions approved to win House support...

    "The new health care law seeks to guarantee health insurance coverage for nearly all Americans while cracking down on insurance industry abuses. It also promises to reduce federal deficits by an estimated $143 billion over a decade...

    What BS. The CBO has come out and indicated that, like many of the statements coming out of the Dems on HCR, these two statements represent a double dip. You can have one or the other, an extension of Medicare or cost savings. You can't have both given assumptions in the current law.

    "...the boost to Social Security would occur in an indirect way. If employers see their costs for health insurance fall, they would have more money to spend on employee salaries. Higher salaries would mean a larger amount of wages that would be subject to the Social Security payroll tax..."

    Right. Given the current lack of demand for workers which results as much from globalization as from the current recession we can expect employers to rush right out and offer all their employees raises, something they haven't done for the past thirty years.

    I suspect the chances of that happening are about equal to us getting back to an unemployment level of 5% anytime soon. And that has nothing to do with energy.

    "The report will also estimate the impact the health care overhaul will have on the premiums that Medicare recipients must pay. Supporters of the overhaul believe those premium costs will fall."

    "And one pill makes you larger, and one pill makes you small."


  17. Can you imagine a week that consists of going into a dark, highly dangerous mine for five days of that week?

    For your working life?

    Be thankful that BHO Hates Coal.

    (not for those reasons:
    Climate Change!)

  18. California State pension shortfall totals $535 billion

    California's public retirement plans are underfunded by more than a half trillion dollars, equal to about $36,000 per household and far exceeding previous estimates, according to a report released today by Stanford University.

    "It is such a gargantuan number," Nation said. "If you have a state budget general fund of $85 billion, and you are short a half a trillion dollars, it's going to be very tough to make up that shortfall."
    Rosie the Rufie:
    (aka resident socialist troll)
    No Problemo!
    Blue States Rule!

  19. Why can't a lot more IED's just be detonated rather than disarmed?

  20. "And the ones that mother gives you
    Don't do anything at all
    Go ask Alice
    When she's ten feet tall

    And if you go chasing rabbits
    And you know you're going to fall
    Tell 'em a hookah smoking caterpillar
    Has given you the call
    Call Alice
    When she was just small...
    Alice = Rufie

  21. Low income Hispanic students in Florida outperform California State Averages on tests.

    - Jeb Bush

  22. The Republicans ARE racists, their Chairman tells US that it is so!

    Embattled Republican National Committee ChairmanMichael Steele released a defiant statement following an interview he gave on "Good Morning America" where he said his African-American race played a role in calls for him to step down.

    Republicans playin' and payin' that race card, amongst themselves.

  23. Seems that the "loyal" Bushites, they are dumping on Mr Steele.

    ... several GOP powerhouses -- including former RNC chairman Mike Duncan, former RNC communications director Jim Dyke and former RNC co-chair Jo Ann Davidson -- have formed a new group to raise $50 million for Republican candidates.

    Gillespie and Karl Rove, adviser to President George W. Bush, are serving as informal advisers.

  24. Collateral damage to civilian property, doug.

    It's bad for our image, if we detonate the devices, though that was SOP, back in the day, to blow such mines in place.

  25. In the brief, Nation and five of his graduate students wrote that the CalPERS, CalSTRS and the University of California Retirement System had an adjusted funding shortfall of $425 billion in July 1, 2008. Since then, the funds have lost an additional $110 billion in value.

    Come on, Doug. Everybody that has had money invested in the Stock Market is down. Assuming we come out of recession, they'll get it back.

    Number two: I said yesterday that, probably, the last thing in the Universe I'm concerned about is "who rules Jerusalem." A real close runner-up would be "what about California pensions?"

    This is what recessions do. As Warren Buffet said, "we find out who was swimming nude."

  26. Duh. Do you really think so Rufus?

    Quirk, always keep in mind that there are at least two Rufi out there.

    There's a good Rufus and a bad Rufus. The bad Rufus lurks in the shadows. Strange and unbelievable utterances come out of those shadows.

    The good Rufus gets tagged, denies, evidence surfaces, and only then are we reminded of the evil twin who dwells in darkness.

    Rufus is lucky to have such a gentle friend as you. Perhaps with patience and love and the generosity of ObamaCare, Rufus can look forward to a future untroubled by these demons who plague him and puzzle us.

  27. I've come of late to think of rufus as the Bar's liberal interlocutor.

    Then again, this always has been a hangout for apostates of one flavor or another.

    There's no Bar doctrine to uphold, no Party line to toe. As liberating and refreshing as it is undoubtedly maddening. "We're an anarcho-syndicalist commune..." Only lacking for patchouli and weed.

  28. In fact, where someone to turn the EB blog into a reality TV series we might all make a little money for our retirements or possibly the girls in Vegas.

    (The last part was for T, absent but not forgotton.)


  29. This comment has been removed by the author.

  30. "Number two: I said yesterday that, probably, the last thing in the Universe I'm concerned about is "who rules Jerusalem." A real close runner-up would be "what about California pensions?"

    Rather short-sighted I suspect. I assume that unlike most large corporations who pay into the PBGC a state's taxpayers would be on the hook to pick up any shortfalls in the public pensions.

    I don't know how CalPERS is set up. But in the end, if worse comes to worse, the FEDS would never let California go into receivership. If they wouldn't let AIG go bankrupt, they are not going to let CA go bankrupt.

    Bottom line, worse case scenario, we will all be forced to pay for the fruit and the nuts.


  31. And no one picked up on it yesterday, so I will this gorgeous Tuesday:

    That Resolution for the Use of Force, Rat, does not concern itself with HOW the nation will undertake the objective so set forth.

    If you're searching for some documentary means by which to strictly delimit our military activities, you'll not find it there.

  32. "I've come of late to think of rufus as the Bar's liberal interlocutor."

    I've come to think of him as some old guy in Miss. who goes around collecting beer bottle caps from along the highway.

    Of course, I always was kind of a romantic.


  33. Eventually, Ca might even have to quit cutting those checks to Ms, Al, Ga, Ar, and all those other Red States.

    Noone who's ever known me would have dreamed in a thousand years that "I" would be the "Liberal Interlocutor," any where, and place. It's weird. I just hate "analysis by arm-waving, and shouting." I much prefer looking at data.

  34. I've come to think of him as some old guy in Miss. who goes around collecting beer bottle caps from along the highway.

    Many folks would have predicted That (and, they may end up being right.)

    That "liberal interlocutor" thing, not so much.

  35. Even if I have to make it up.


  36. Data has to come from "Somewhere."


  37. As for H/C: The Dems say it'll be "free."

    The Pubs say it'll cost Elebenty Kazillion MegaSooperDollars and put the country in the bread-line.

    I say it'll cost in the neighborhood of $150 Billion/Yr.

    Let's check back in a few years and see who was "closest."

  38. Isn't it interesting that CNBC did Not mention once, yesterday, or today, the Valero Oil Shipment being hijacked.

  39. If the liberals hadn't been so crazed with "BDS" they might have noticed the danger approaching from the actions of Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, et al with respect to Fannie/Freddie.

    I wonder what the Pubs are missing due to ODS?

  40. "Let's check back in a few years and see who was "closest."

    Lord where it so.

    You know that over the next three years the EB will see that $150 billion myriad times.

    We all suffer from cognitive dissonance from time to time, Ruf, but you take it to an art form.

    Instead of searching out all that self-affirming data, you have to, at least now and then, take a bite out of the reality sandwich.


  41. Okay, I give. I'll quit posting my opinions. Sometimes they don't conform to the EB "norm."

    I guess I can opine on the proper leg-shaving, ball-waxing techniques, and optimum hair spray, shampoo/conditioner, mustache wax combination.

    Maybe, I'll take up "religion," and Poetry. Or Pottery. I'll keep you informed.

  42. One last motherfucking thing: At least I search out Some Data.

    Has Anyone Else posted, even one time, the actual Tax Receipts/Outlays Data?

    Does anyone else here post ANY Data?

    And, Goddammit, a cherry-picked CBO "Projection" doesn't count.

    About all I'm seeing posted is "Opinion" pieces from Right Wing Partisans. Just show me some fucking DATA, "Cherry-picked," or not.

  43. Fuck the bunch of you.

  44. "Sometimes they don't conform to the EB 'norm.'"

    That was my point, rufus. There is no EB norm. There never has been.

    I feel sorry for dear host and whit sometimes because I think that they now and again genuinely wish there were.

    It's cats in a fucking bag.

    I am unaware of any other establishment quite like it.

  45. "Fuck the bunch of you."



  46. "Okay, I give. I'll quit posting my opinions..."



  47. I love this bar.

    The Bar Blog

    New theme song.


  48. That is to true, trish, with regards the Authorization. The President can pursue any strategic or tactical course he wishes.

    All I was pointing out was that the nation building and continued presence in Afghanistan, long after the aQ elements responsible for the border raid of 9-11-01 have left the AO, was a reach.

    That with aQ leadership heading out for long term sanctuary in Pakistan, where the President refused to let US force tread.

    That President Karsai, duly selected in a UN sanction and approved election, is the legitimate ruler of Afghanistan.

    Whom we have sworn to defend, as part of our search for justice and the continued security that occupying Afghanistan provides US, from further terrorist attacks.

    Funny, all the attacks, 9-11-01 and the Shoe Bomber and the Christmas Bomber, all those raids originated in Europe, not Afghanistan.

    Our continued military presence in Germany and England, insufficient to secure US from terrorist attacks organized in Munich and London.

  49. Even Jose Padilla, he was busted, getting off a flight from Europe, not Afpakistan, if memory serves.

  50. One of the best lines from Blues Brothers:

    "Chicken wire?"

  51. "It's bad for our image, if we detonate the devices, though that was SOP, back in the day, to blow such mines in place."

    Back in the day, it was fun to moan and bitch about our victimhood in the Army.

    Now when you are expected to sacrifice your LIFE for their nonsense, not so much.

  52. Was Rufus denied access to his
    (Medicare) meds this week?

  53. "That with aQ leadership heading out for long term sanctuary in Pakistan..."

    And no one's going to tell you that we're in Pakistan in more than training and advisory and collection rolls.

    But we are.

    It's not to the extent that you and many others would like to see.

    But we're there.

  54. Made me so goddamned mad I went and washed the car (in a 30 mph windstorm.)

  55. Maybe I'll Blog on keeping a clean car from now on. Must be a lot of interrestin stuff, there.

    Turtle wax vs whateveer the other shit is. Wand vs wax, or whatthefuckever people do when they wash cars. Ought'a be great!

  56. "Okay, I give. I'll quit posting my opinions. Sometimes they don't conform to the EB "norm."

    Um....Does whatever I say conform? If it did then it wouldn't be me.

    Oh and please watch the language my poor virgin ears can't handle it.

  57. Wall Street Journal -

    WASHINGTON—General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC may need to contribute substantial sums to their employee pension plans in coming years to comply with US laws, the Government Accountability Office said Tuesday.

  58. Why can't a lot more IED's just be detonated rather than disarmed?

    Tue Apr 06, 07:18:00 AM EDT

    Do you want my input?

  59. Obstreperous truculence at the EB: that is the new normal.

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  63. There was a couple, mid-50's I think, camping out near us this weekend. A Prius with an Obama Hope sticker on the back.

    Not like that's a cliche.

    But they were doing that whole small footprint thing. No campfire.

    Whatever floats your boat, but that's really sucking the fun out of the Great Outdoors.

    I thought such people only existed in the fevered imaginations of conservatives.

    Not so, apparently.

  64. This comment has been removed by the author.

  65. Trish, are you so naive? You're at the inside the beltway mothership and are surprised by the greenies? Welcome home!

  66. A Prius with an Obama Hope sticker on the back.

    Not like that's a cliche.

    Volvos are so passe.

  67. "Obstreperous truculence at the EB:"

    Obstreporous? Undoubtedly.

    Truculence? I don't think so. (I had to look up the meaning just to verify it meant what I thought it did. It did.)

    What you see here is a mere giddy display of playful repartee.


  68. Don't knock the Volvo, man.

    Took us everyfuckingwhere on two continents and sent a daughter off to school.

    It's a fucking trooper if ever there was.

  69. F.C.C. Rules for Broadband Fairness Set Aside by Court

    "WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court on Tuesday dealt a sharp blow to the efforts of the Federal Communications Commission to set the rules of the road for the Internet, ruling that the agency lacks the authority to require broadband providers to give equal treatment to all Internet traffic flowing over their networks."

    Net Neutrality

    Haven't figured out where I stand on the net neutrality issue.


  70. It's not the Volvo, it's the Birkenstockers who drove them with the "Mean people suck" stickers on the back.

  71. "But they were doing that whole small footprint thing. No campfire."


  72. So tell me, after we lose a city, or maybe a few million civilians to a new plague spread by a new jihadist group (most likely a palestinian, a saudi and a pakistani) we will all gather where to hold hands and sing "teach the world to sing"?

    Just want to mark the datebook, so I can map quest it!

    Let's all bow our heads and pray...

    Dear Lord Obama,

    Please make us worthy of our sacrifice that you have willing placed upon our heads...

    Our blood, Our children are yours oh Lord Hussein..

    You have blessed us with your presence...

    In your Name OBAMA we say...


    /off sarcasm

  73. Well, they're devoted morons.

    You know, it's a shame. Campfires are the relaxing cap on one's day.

    There is no substitute.

  74. I've decided the right car is a white ford SUV with tinted windhields. It says absolutely nothing and keeps everyone guessin.

  75. Where are you going to be driving it?

    Shorts or slacks?

  76. Uh, about those helicopter pilots shooting "innocent" reporters?

    Not ezzackly They wuz packin, Bubba.

    The NY Times are lying assholes.

  77. Jes make sure it's Flexfuel.

  78. E85 is selling in Iowa for $1.89.

  79. And, it "Could" be selling profitably for $1.99 W/O Any Tax Credit.

  80. Go watch the video, rufus.

    They boys that got fired up, they weren't packin'.

    Plain as day.

    One fella had a telephoto lens, looked like it could have been a slung rifle.

    But there were eight or so original targets, only one slung object. No belligerence, no hostile activity.
    When the van was fired on, there were no weapons visible.

    There was no battle, it was a one sided slaughter.

  81. That "slung" weapon looks like an RPG to me. Also, those guys appear to trying to look nonchalant but are very wary. And, if you remember, at the time, the bad guys liked to get their photographic documentation of their "kills".

    It was a war zone and bad things happen in war zones.

  82. Exxon-Mobil Paid NO U.S. Income Tax last year.

    Of course, they only had a pre-tax profit of $45.2 Billion.

  83. That is true, whit, but is beside the point.

    Iraq was a police zone, not a war zone, in 2007.

    That there was combat, in the vicinity, a given. That those fellas were not involved, plain as day.

    The were standing around, in the middle of the street, looking wary. While sounds of a battle were heard, presumably, in the distance.

    Ameros to doughnuts that the "Rules of Engagement" were violated by the pilots.

  84. Well, they're still daid, so fuck'em.

    AQ in Iraq will have to find a new photographer.

  85. It is one of the dangers, of using armed helos for police work.

    Rent "Blue Thunder".

    Anyway, the dead are dead, the pilots will lawyer up.

    It's all good.

  86. Everyone's already been cleared.

  87. trish said...

    "Do you want my input?"

    Tue Apr 06, 05:34:00 PM EDT


  88. Most times we can't remotely detonate IEDs.

  89. Discovery Announcement ~ The densest element in the known Universe has been found!

    Pelosium:A major research institution has just announced the discovery of the densest element yet known to science. The new element has been named Pelosium.

    Pelosium has one neutron, 12 assistant neutrons, 75 deputy neutrons, and 224 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 311.
    These particles are held together by dark forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons.

    The symbol of Pelosium is PU.
    Pelosium's mass actually increases over time, as morons randomly interact with various elements in the atmosphere and become assistant deputy neutrons within the Pelosium molecule, leading to the formation of isodopes.

    This characteristic of moron-promotion leads some scientists to believe that Pelosium is formed whenever morons reach a certain quantity in concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as Critical Morass.

    When catalyzed with money, Pelosium activates CNNadnausium, an element that radiates orders of magnitude more energy, albeit as incoherent noise, since it has half as many peons but twice as many morons as Pelosium.

  90. Which does not explain why the IEDs cannot or are not be detonated in place.

    A one pound C4 charge would detonate it, either electronically or mechanically.

    It still requires approaching the mine, but that is, was, SOP.

    On the chance that the IED was command detonated, by radio or infra red, it still could be detonated in place, if hit with a 40mm HE round.
    Fired from a 203 or a M79.

  91. But then, again, that is not how it is done, in police work.

  92. It is a political "can't", doug, not a military or technical "can't".

    You asked why not detonate in place, trish speaks of "remote control", the two are not even related subjects.

  93. April 7 (Bloomberg) --
    China is considering allowing the yuan to trade against the Russian ruble, South Korean won and Malaysian ringgit to promote its use in cross-border trade, an official at the China Foreign Exchange Trade System said.

  94. (Reuters) - The euro struggled on Wednesday, plagued by fresh worries about debt-laden Greece, while commodity currencies like the Australian and Canadian dollars held gains on the back of expectations of higher interest rates.

  95. Maoist Rebels Ambush Indian Troops, Kill 76
    At least 76 paramilitary troops die in Naxalites' deadliest attack against government since insurgency began

  96. You're a
    19 year old kid.
    critically wounded and dying in the jungle somewhere
    in the Central Highlands of Viet

    It's November 11, 1967.
    (landing zone) X-ray.

    Your unit is outnumbered 8-1 and the enemy
    fire is so intense, from 100 yards away,
    that your CO (commanding officer) has
    ordered the MediVac helicopters to stop coming

    You're lying there, listening to the enemy
    machine guns and you know you're not getting
    family is half way around the world, 12,000
    miles away, and you'll never see them again.

    As the world starts to fade in and out, you
    know this is the day.

    Then - over the machine gun noise - you faintly
    hear that sound of a helicopter.
    You look
    up to see a Huey coming in. But ... It doesn't
    seem real because no Medi-Vac markings are on

    Captain Ed Freeman is coming in for

    He's not Medi-Vac so it's not his job, but
    he heard the radio call and decided he's flying
    his Huey down into the machine gun fire anyway.

    Even after the Medi-Vacs were ordered not to
    coming anyway.

    And he drops it in and sits there in the machine
    gun fire, as they load 3 of you at a time
    on board.
    Then he
    flies you up and out through the gunfire to the
    doctors and nurses and safety.

    And, he kept coming
    back!! 13 more times!! Until all
    the wounded were out. No one knew until the
    mission was over that the Captain had been
    hit 4 times in the legs and left arm.

    He took 29 of you and your buddies out
    that day. Some would not have made it without
    the Captain and his Huey.

    Medal of Honor Recipient,
    Captain Ed Freeman,
    States Air Force, died last Wednesday at the age
    of 70, in Boise , Idaho

    May God Rest His Soul.

    I bet you didn't hear about this
    hero's passing,
    but we've sure seen a whole
    bunch about
    Michael Jackson and Tiger Woods.

    of Honor Winner
    Captain Ed Freeman

    Shame on the American media !!!

  97. Thanks, Sam. I'm gonna go pop a cold one for the Captain.

    I've read about what he did. It was a hell of a deal.

  98. Rio's city hall started to collect food and clothing donations for people affected by the floods. The government also decided to open military police battalions to shelter the homeless.

    The justice ministry has decided to send two helicopters and 60 firemen to join the rescue operation from Wednesday.

    The weather forecast says it is expected to rain on Wednesday and continue to be rainy till the end of the week.

    SE Brazil

  99. Only remotely related.
    The long war is filled with cant and can'ts.

  100. Comment from

    As usual, right leaning people got it wrong and fell for another urban myth!!

    Here is the truth and several links from a simple Google search:

    Comments: Judging from the closing sentences of the above message one could get the impression that the courageous life and quiet death of former Army Captain and Medal of Honor recipient Ed W. Freeman had been completely ignored by the media. Not so, as the partial list of news sources further down this page amply demonstrates.

    Freeman passed away at the age of 80 on August 29, 2008 and was honored with obituaries in newspapers across the country. Ed Freeman, Medal of Honor Recipient -

    Urban Legends
    Ed W. "Too Tall" Freeman (November 20, 1927 - August 20, 2008) was a United States Army helicopter pilot who received the U.S. military's highest decoration, the Medal of Honor, for his actions in the Battle of Ia Drang during the Vietnam War. During the battle, he flew through gunfire numerous times, bringing supplies to a trapped American battalion and flying dozens of wounded soldiers to safety. Freeman was a wingman for Major Bruce Crandall who also received the Medal of Honor for the same missions.

    Ed Freeman - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I'm not trying to insult or belittle Mr. Freeman, but don't believe ANYTHING you see on the internet without at least doing a simple search and fact check.

  101. Mississippi boy, Rufus.

    Freeman was born in Neely, Perry County, Mississippi, the sixth of nine children.[1] He grew up in nearby McLain[2] and graduated from Washington High School.[1]

    He served in World War II[2] and reached the rank of first sergeant by the time of the Korean War.

    Although he was in the Corps of Engineers, he fought as an infantry soldier in Korea. He participated in the Battle of Pork Chop Hill and won a battlefield commission as one of only 14 survivors out of 257 men who made it through the opening stages of the battle.

    His second lieutenant-bars were pinned on by General James Van Fleet personally. The commission made him eligible to become a pilot, a childhood dream of his.

    He then took over B-Company and led them back up on Pork Chop Hill.

    However, when he applied for pilot training he was told that, at six feet four inches, he was "too tall" for pilot duty.
    The phrase stuck, and he was known by the nickname of "Too Tall" for the rest of his career.[3]

    In 1955, the height limit for pilots was raised and Freeman was accepted into flying school. He first flew airplanes before switching to helicopters.

    After the Korean War, he flew the world on mapping missions before Vietnam.

    By the time he was sent to Vietnam in 1965, he was an experienced helicopter pilot and was placed second-in-command of his sixteen-craft unit.[3]

    He served as a captain in Company A, 229th Assault Helicopter Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile).[4]

  102. Farewell to an American Hero
    - Joe Galloway

    Too Tall Ed was 80 years old when he died in a hospital in Boise, Idaho, after long being ill with Parkinson’s disease. He turned down a full dress hero’s funeral in Arlington National Cemetery in favor of a hometown service and burial in the National Cemetery in Boise, close to the rivers he loved to fish and the mountains he flew through in his second career flying for the U.S. Forest Service.

    A few days before the end, his old buddy Lt. Col. Bruce (Ancient Serpent 6) Crandall came to the hospital to say his goodbyes to Too Tall Ed, and to enjoy one last round of arguing with Ed over that question of which of them was the best pilot in the world.

    In a fine display of the sort of gallows humor that's always helped men who know the horrors of war keep some of their sanity, Bruce told Ed that he intended to settle the question once and for all by borrowing a helicopter, sling-loading Ed’s coffin below it and then lowering it into the grave where Too Tall will rest _ something that only the Best Pilot in the World could do. Something that only the best friend in the world could tell a dying man.