Slip Slidin’ Away

Gee, the weasel politicians in Washington continue to abdicate their responsibility and keep kicking the can down the road and the Social Security and Medicare insolvency problem keeps getting worse year after year. Go figure.

Financial Outlook Worsens for Social Security, Medicare

Social Security and Medicare’s annual checkup found that the entitlement system continues to face long-term financial challenges. The Social Security trust fund is expected to be exhausted in 2036, one year sooner than was projected last year. And the date Medicare’s hospital insurance trust fund is projected to be depleted has advanced up to 2024, five years earlier than in last year’s report. Once those dates pass, there will only be sufficient resources coming in to pay out about 77 percent of scheduled Social Security benefits and 90 percent of retirees hospital insurance costs, unless changes are made to the program.

Read the Medicare trustees’ report:

2011 ANNUAL REPORT OF THE BOARDS OF TRUSTEES OF THE FEDERAL HOSPITAL INSURANCE AND FEDERAL SUPPLEMENTARY MEDICAL INSURANCE TRUST FUNDS

See also:
Social Security Board of Trustees: Projected Trust Fund Exhaustion
One Year Sooner

Outlook Worsening for Social Security, Medicare, Trustees Say
New report warns Social Security, Medicare could run out of money even earlier than feared
Outlook for Social Security, Medicare Poor: Trustees
Medicare could run out of money sooner than previously predicted
Bleaker outlook for Social Security, Medicare
Outlook for Medicare, Social Security worsens
Government: How bad is the news about Social Security?
Medicare and Social Security Trustees report: Capitol Hill reaction
Medicare funds will be depleted in 13 years, report says

And, since we’re already into the 2012 election cycle, I wouldn’t expect Obama or Congress to step up and have the courage to make the hard, politically unpopular decisions that will have to be made in order to put Medicare and Social Security back on the path to solvency. Just look at how Paul Ryan is already being attacked for lucidly speaking truth to the demagogues. And so, next year, there’ll be another report telling us that the insolvency problem for Medicare and Social Security has gotten even worse.

/seriously, you didn’t really think you were going to collect Medicare and Social Security benefits, did you?

Stardust Memories

A mission well played and an efficient use of taxpayer money too. They wrung every last bit of scientific data out of every last dollar.

Lights go out on NASA’s Stardust comet mission

Fresh off a bonus flyby of comet Tempel 1 in February, NASA’s Stardust spacecraft fired its four main engines for more than two minutes Thursday, draining its fuel tank as managers said goodbye to the well-traveled comet chaser after more than 12 years in space.

With Stardust’s single hydrazine fuel tank emptied, the craft lost its ability to control its orientation and the probe’s solar panels were expected to lose track of the sun, and officials anticipated the mission’s battery charge would be exhausted within hours.

Stardust was also programmed to turn off its radio transmitters about 20 minutes after the burn, just in case it might interfere with some future mission using the same frequency.

NASA announced the last transmission from Stardust was received at 7:33 p.m. EDT (2333 GMT) Thursday. Officials monitored the burn from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California and issued commands from the Lockheed Martin Corp. mission support center in Denver.

See also:
NASA and Lockheed Martin Say Goodbye to Historic Stardust Spacecraft
NASA’s Venerable Comet Hunter Wraps Up Mission
NASA’s Stardust: Good to the Last Drop
Inside NASA’s Space Funeral for the Comet-Hunting Stardust Probe
NASA kills off comet hunter
Comet-hunting spacecraft shuts down after 12 years
NASA Retires Comet-Hunter Stardust
NASA’s Stardust set to ‘burn to depletion’
NASA’s stardust empties its tank after 12 years
NASA’s ‘Comet Hunter’ Heads Off Into The ‘Sunset’
Stardust – NASA’s Comet Sample Return Mission
NASA – Stardust
Stardust (spacecraft)

Hopefully they put some type of return address on it.

/maybe, like a note in a bottle, something out there will find Stardust and bring it back home, as long as they’re good aliens that come in peace