News Highlights, March 17th

For the last two weeks I simply have not been reading or watching much news so didn’t have highlights to share. But I’m back.

It’s March Madness Time!

As a die-hard University of Kentucky Wildcats fan I will never be for any other team to win the men’s NCAA tourney. Sounds hard core but let me assure you that compared to my fellow Kentuckians, I’m a mild mannered fan by all accounts. I’ve been a basketball fan since I was old enough to try and shoot a hoop in the backyard of my 2nd grade bestfriend, Molly Gholson. I simply adore college basketball (I don’t watch pro ball) so I will be tuned back into the news for the NCAA tourney results if nothing else. If you need a good bracket to keep an eye on your favorite team, here ya go.


The BBC and Gary Lineker, When Sports Meet Politics

Gary Lineker

Gary Lineker, 62, is a beloved… dearly beloved… retired soccer player. And we know how much Britain adores it’s soccer. Gary Lineker played 17 years without ever receiving a yellow card. No one does that.

So, last week the British Home Office announced their new bill aimed at immigration. Let’s pause to recall that Nigel Farage‘s outrage based campaign regarding illegals entering the UK played a large part in BREXIT… which I think is now a largely regretted move by many who were previously in favor of it (just my humble opinion). But here they are again, desperate to do something about refugees coming into the country by little boats. I’m not saying dealing with immigrants poses many complex issues, they certainly do, but that is another story for another time.

Meanwhile, Mr. Lineker, who currently works for the BBC as a sports announcer publicly criticized this new bill. He tweeted “Good heavens, this is beyond awful. And “

“There is no huge influx. We take far fewer refugees than other major European countries. This is just an immeasurably cruel policy directed at the most vulnerable people in language that is not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the ’30s, and I’m out of order?”

Whoopsy! The BBC didn’t like that! In a statement “the BBC said it has “decided that he will step back from presenting Match of the Day until we’ve got an agreed and clear position on his use of social media.””

In the USA freedom of speech means the government cannot censor a person’s right to free speech. It does not protect that same person from saying whatever they want in their place of work. It’s well known that you don’t tweet about stuff your corporation would not like! Look at the havoc and chaos at Twitter! Anyway… Because Lineker is so beloved the ripple effect was extreme! See CNN’s story on the blow back. You don’t mess with beloved national sports heroes. Anyway, Gary’s back on the job and so is everyone else. Sometimes the good guys do win, after all.


Social Security Running Out of Money in 9 years

So for at least three decades there have been warnings that Social Security benefits are on the brink. On March 13th, on Morning Joe, Louisiana Republican Senator Bill Cassidy stated that in 9 years people receiving social security benefits to those Americans currently receiving them will be cut by 25%. He and Independent Senator from Maine, Angus King, are on the circuit talking about it and working on proposals for change.

It is extremely disturbing to think that for a lifetime babyboomers have be working hard and mandatorily paying into a program they believed would be there for them during their retirement years.

Let’s look at some statistics for a moment…

The earliest you can take your social security benefits is 62. In the USA there are 74.6million Americans over age 60. As of 2022, 46.7 million Americans receive social security retirement benefits each month at an average of $1,550.48 per recipient. The annual cost is $1.2 trillion dollar. Social Security accounts for 4.8% of the US total GDP. For comparison, as of 2021, the USA defense percentage is 3.3%. So the USA pays more in social security than it does in military expenditures. According to the National Institute on Retirement Security (Jan 2020) 40% of Americans rely soley on social security for their retirement income. Only 7% of retires have the ideal trifecta of incomes… social security, pension, and savings. Social security is estimated to keep more than 7.5 million households out of poverty. In 2021 the poverty rate in the USA was 11.6% or 37.9 million people in poverty. That is an increase for people over 65. The way the USA measures poverty is explained here. It’s more than just income but basically a family living below $35,801/year is roughly the definition of poverty.

Who can live on $35,801 in any USA city? That’s about $3,000 per month BEFORE taxes. So the average ($1,550) social security recipient who has nothing else is already impoverished. Now cut that $1,550 by 25%. That is scary stuff.

I’m not of the opinion that people are necessarily, automatically entitled to free money but with social security these are recipients who paid in, paycheck after paycheck, into the program in good faith they’d be getting that income (taxed, of course) back. Myself included.


Pence Finally Said It .. and why he’ll never be President

Donald Trump was wrong,” Pence said at the white-tie event, which was attended by journalists, politicians, and other D.C. insiders. “I had no right to overturn the election, and his reckless words endangered my family and everyone at the Capitol that day, and I know that history will hold Donald Trump accountable.

What happened that day was a disgrace. And it mocks decency to portray it any other way. For as long as I live, I will never, ever diminish the injuries sustained, the lives lost, or the heroism of law enforcement on that tragic day.” – Mike Pence at Gridiron Club dinner last weekend. SOURCE

I’ve heard Pence on interviews and he hedges and wiggles and says sort this or that but this is the most intense statement from him, ever. Better extremely late than never. Of course this will never help his chances of being President in 2024 and that’s just as well.


Drilling in Alaska Now Okay, Thanks for Nothing Biden!

#StopWillow

This past Monday President Biden approved the Willow Project which is a multi-billion dollar oil drilling proposal by the Houston, Texas based ConocoPhillips corporation. They are hoping to produce 180,000 barrels of oil per day in a portion of Alaska located 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle. It is the country’s largest single expanse of pristine land. source

Why?

The Willow project could produce up to 180,000 barrels of oil a day, create up to 2,500 jobs during construction and 300 long-term jobs, and generate billions of dollars in royalties and tax revenues for the federal, state and local governments, the company said.source

Of course the Republican senator Murkowski loved the plan. I’m sure the Drill-Baby-Drill Sarah Palin is very excited about it also.

Of course all that is much more important than what Native Alaskans wanted. They were opposed but, as usual, ignored. And putting the climate issues aside, how about dealing with cleanups and consequence? Where are the guaranteed about that? Well, even if we got them we know they’d be best case scenarios because they really have no idea how they’d deal with such messes. Which are absolutely going to happen. So the drillers now have their foot in the door and it wasn’t Trump who did it.. it was Biden. It was democrats. It was the capitalistic at all costs folks which is the real majority.

Read more here I’m too sickened by it to write any more.


Silicone Valley Bank Collapse

There is only one thing I want to say about this. Okay, two things. Firstly – Elizabeth Warren WARNED everyone this would happen. And this:

“* Democratic U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren called on Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell to recuse himself from an internal review of recent bank failures, saying his actions “directly contributed” to them.” source

What she said!!


1 thought on “News Highlights, March 17th

  1. virginia Hart says:

    Bet I could be regular viewer! Love this!

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