Monday, May 19, 2008

I'm Back

Well it's been a helluva couple of weeks. I was diagnosed with a bunch of allergies a few months ago. As a result I've had to change several medications, all of which contained an allergen for me: corn. I made the change and then began to develop hives .... all over the place. I've been a mess every since (going on about 3 weeks now) and am going through a process to find the culprit/s. Needless to say that when you exist in a chronic, moderate stage of anapylaxis , the energy level to blog falls.

In the news, things have been kinda of quiet. Seems as if we're preparing for summer which can be much more quiet. Bush is dead meat for all intents and purposes, the Dem primary is de facto over still, the war is status quo. However, two things did stand out this morning:

First this:

USA Today leads with an analysis that says the federal government's "long-term financial obligations" increased by $2.5 trillion last year. In order to cover the benefits of everyone who is eligible for government programs, including Medicare and Social Security, "taxpayers are on the hook for a record $57.3 trillion," a figure that translates into almost $500,000 per household. The number is much higher than the $162 billion the government reported as last year's deficit because it doesn't follow accounting standards that are the norm in the corporate world and fails to count future financial obligations.
Do you notice a little problem in this reporting? That humongeous number of $57 trillion is over what period of time? And how much tax revenue will come in over an equivalent time? This is a common scare tactic .... you look at the obligation for the next 50 years, add up the amount and then scare the beejesus out of everyone. It's like deciding to have a child after looking at a lifelong cost of several million bucks. As has been said many many times before, Social Security income vs. expenses is not a big problem. Medicare is much more of a problem but can be resolved.

The other story that caught my attention was this:
The WP's Howard Kurtz fronts a look at Fox News personality Bill O'Reilly's "extraordinary televised assault on the chief executive of General Electric," and says it has escalated after high-level executives from Fox failed to persuade the heads of NBC, a GE subsidiary, to tone down the attacks of MSNBC host Keith Olbermann. Apparently the chairman of Fox News, Roger Ailes, warned the heads of NBC and General Electric that if Olbermann continued to attack Fox, O'Reilly, combined with the New York Post, would proceed to launch a campaign against NBC. In recent weeks, O'Reilly has stepped up his attacks against the head of GE and criticized the company for its presence in Iran. ("If my child were killed in Iraq, I would blame the likes of Jeffrey Immelt," the head of GE, O'Reilly recently said.) Fox vehemently denies there ever was talk about a "quid pro quo" deal, but it seems clear that what started out as an entertaining feud between two cable news hosts has hurt the sensibilities of some of the media world's most powerful people.
What corporate media indeed.

Good for NBC to stay away from the low-life Faux's business-as-usual mettling.

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