Thursday, October 14, 2010


Its Thursday!

- The Feds have announced no increase in Social Security benefits this year, just like last year! Social Security benefits are by law tied to the Consumer Price Index, and so when inflation goes up (say 4%, which is healthy) recipients get their COLA fix (cost of living adjustment.) This year and last year there was no inflation (may have been deflation) and so they get no increase. This is something that occurs independently of Congress, but I suspect many elderly voters won't get that. I suspect that because I interned at a Senator's office last year and we had old people calling us constantly demanding their COLA increase, and not being satisfied with the explanation I just provided. With typical irony, they will probably exercise that anger by voting in a party (Republicans) who have been against Social Security its entire life and will likely seek to begin dismantling it under the guise of deficit reduction (which as Dean Baker or Paul Krugman routinely point out, is bullshit. Medicare might swallow the federal budget, Social Security is completely fine and with minor adjustments will be fine for a long time.)

- McDonald's hamburgers can last at least 12 years without decay, a woman's experiment shows. Not even the bread gets moldy, which is pretty fucking disturbing. If I said it once I'll say it again, never eat fast food, ever.

-The Afghan "Peace Council" is opening talks with the Taliban. Seems like the me like a smart idea; the war is not going to be won militarily and these types of conflicts are never hurt by negotiation.

-The trade deficit widens, and yet Obama seems set against penalizing China (ala tariffs) for their illegal currency manipulation, which is tantamount to subsidies on their exports, which leads to things like our big trade deficit. I wonder if post-health care he is going to fight for anything? I wonder if he really cares (though he did say he wanted to double US exports in five years. How is that going?)

- Hillary wont be VP in 2012 because Biden says Obama asked him first. Is Obama running in 2012?

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