Another One Bites The Dust

Yet another government entitlement program looks to be about to go belly up.

Social Security Disability Payments Could End in 2017

Aging baby boomers and laid-off workers are inundating Social Security’s disability program with benefit claims, a financial strain that new congressional estimates report could leave the program bankrupt by 2017.

Applications have increased by 50 percent over the past decade, according to a report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), as more people with disabilities lost their jobs — and often remain unemployed for months or even years — in an economy that has been hemorrhaging jobs.

See also:
Social Security Disability and SSI going broke
Social Security Disability Payments May Cease in 2017
Social Security disability on verge of insolvency
Report: Disability fund losing cash
A look at Social Security’s disability program
Old And In The Way: The Politics, Policies and Poverty Of Aging
Soc. Sec. disabilities claims up by 50%
U.S. Trust Funds
Social Security Disability Payments In Peril by 2017
Another Looming Entitlement Crisis
Social Security Disability Fund In Trouble
Government Running Out of Funds for Social Security
Social Security disability payments could end in 2017

Medicare, Social Security, and now Social Security Disability are all well down the road toward insolvency and the politicians, particularly the Democrats, don’t have the guts to do a damn thing about it. So, if you’re under say, 50, I wouldn’t be counting on any of these entitlement programs to be there for you when you might need them in the future.

/it’s the Age of Obama economy and you’re just going to have to learn to fend for yourself

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Comedy Gold Power

Did she really say this [expletive deleted] with a straight face?

Clinton: US using “smart power” for Libya, Syria

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton defended the U.S. response to crises in Libya and Syria on Tuesday, saying the Obama administration is projecting “smart power” by refusing to act alone or with brute force to stop autocratic repression in the two countries.

. . .

Clinton said Libya was a study in the use of “strategic patience,” whereby the United States resisted the impulse for immediate intervention and instead helped to build support for the country’s nascent opposition, which the U.S. now recognizes as Libya’s legitimate government. She said the unprecedented NATO-Arab alliance protecting civilians on the ground was a key result of the tactics of smart power.

“This is exactly the kind of world that I want to see, where it’s not just the United States and everybody is standing on the sidelines while we bear the costs,” she said.

In Syria, Clinton said Washington had adopted a similar stance. The administration has imposed sanctions to protest a ruthless crackdown on reformers but has thus far resisted calls to make an explicit demand for President Bashar Assad to step down, something it did with Qaddafi.

Clinton said it would be a mistake for the administration to demand Assad’s ouster on its own because it wouldn’t be effective given Washington’s long-strained ties with Damascus and limited U.S. influence and trade with Syria.

See also:
U.S. taking “smart power” approach to Libya, Syria
Clinton: Libya, Syria show ‘smart power’ at work
Clinton: Libya, Syria show ‘smart power’ at work
Clinton: Libya, Syria show ‘smart power’ at work
Clinton: Libya, Syria show ‘smart power’ at work
‘Smart power’ at work, says Hillary Clinton
Clinton defends U.S. response on Syria
Clinton Passes Up Chance to Call on Assad to Step Down as Obama Remains Silent
A Conversation with Secretaries Hillary Clinton and Leon Panetta

Let’s recap: for months now, we’ve been bombing the [expletive deleted] out of Libya, a country that isn’t a direct threat to U.S. national security, killing civilians, destroying infrastructure, and backing a “rebel” movement containing elements of al Qaeda. That’s “smart power” and “strategic patience”, check. Meanwhile, Bashar Assad in Syria, a dictator in a country with plenty of American blood on its hands and a huge threat to U.S. national security, is killing civilians on a daily basis, with a death toll totaling in the thousands, and we’re doing nothing, because our relationship with Syria is “strained”. That’s also “smart power”, as well as “protecting civilians”, check.

What manner of counterproductive, nonsensical bull[expletive deleted] foreign policy is that? Smart Power my ass!

/are you seriously telling me that we have to put up with these moronic clowns for another year and a half?

When Chinese RATs Attack

Oh, hey, look what China did, again. Isn’t this supposed to be an act of war now?

Massive Global Cyberattack Targeting U.S., U.N. Discovered; Experts Blame China

The world’s most extensive case of cyber-espionage, including attacks on U.S. government and U.N. computers, was revealed Wednesday by online security firm McAfee, and analysts are speculating that China is behind the attacks.

The spying was dubbed “Operation Shady RAT,” or “remote access tool” by McAfee — and it led to a massive loss of information that poses a huge economic threat, wrote vice president of threat research Dmitri Alperovitch.

. . .

Analysts told The Washington Post that the finger of blame for the infiltration of the 72 networks — 49 of them in the U.S. — points firmly in the direction of China.

See also:
Revealed: Operation Shady RAT
McAfee’s Operation Shady RAT exposes national cybersecurity lapses
McAfee discovers massive series of cyber attacks
Hacking Campaign Targets U.S. Government, Signs Point to China
Operation Shady RAT: five-year hack attack hit 14 countries
China Suspected Of Shady RAT Attacks
Q+A: Massive cyber attack dubbed “Operation Shady RAT”
Operation Shady RAT: A frightening web of global cyber-espionage
Operation Shady RAT smells like Chinese hacking
All cursors point to China in global hack attack that threatens nations
China accused of biggest ever global cyber spying attacks
Hackers Based in China Attack UN, Olympic Networks, Security Firms Report
Operation Shady RAT and the cyberhacking
APT Attackers Used Chinese-Authored Hacker Tool To Hide Their Tracks

Why did it take a private security company to uncover the largest case of cyberspying in world history and why aren’t we doing something about it?

/does China have to steal every last piece of sensitive and secret computer data we possess before we start taking this threat seriously?

Can You Hack It?

Calling all hackers, do you pack what it takes?

NSA is looking for a few good hackers

The National Security Agency has a challenge for hackers who think they’re hot stuff: Prove it by working on the “hardest problems on Earth.”

Computer hacker skills are in great demand in the U.S. government to fight the cyberwars that pose a growing national security threat — and they are in short supply.

For that reason an alphabet soup of federal agencies — DOD, DHS, NASA, NSA — are descending on Las Vegas this week for Defcon, an annual hacker convention where the $150 entrance fee is cash only — no registration, no credit cards, no names taken. Attendance is expected to top 10,000.

The NSA is among the keen suitors. The spy agency plays offense and defense in the cyberwars. It conducts electronic eavesdropping on adversaries, and it protects U.S. computer networks that hold super-secret material — a prime target for America’s enemies.

See also:
NSA Wants to Hire Hackers at DefCon
US gov’t building hacker army for cyber war
U.S. government hankers for hackers
U.S. Federal Agencies Look to Hire Hackers at Defcon; Cyber Criminals Offer Services to the Public
US government agencies scouting for computer hackers: report
Federal Agencies to Recruit Hackers at Defcon
R u h4X0R? n33d @ jo8? NSA wants you (locked up in a cubicle, not a cell)
The NSA Wants More Hackers for Their ‘Collection of Geeks’
Welcome to the National Security Agency – NSA/CSS
National Security Agency
Defcon
DEF CON

Would you rather work for them or be hunted down by them? If you’re good enough, it probably pays pretty well and beats sitting in a prison cell.

/don’t forget to bring your white hat

Budget Hero 2.0

Find out how hard it really is to get us out of the economic mess we’re in. Do you have a better fiscal plan than Paul Ryan’s road map, can you destroy the country as quickly as Obama’s reckless spending spree?

Computer game gives people shot at managing budget

Think you might do better than President Barack Obama and congressional leaders in picking and choosing what government spending to cut — or taxes to raise — to stave off a debt showdown that could wreck the economy? A new computer game gives you, too, the chance to play “Budget Hero.”

“Budget Hero 2.0” is an update of an original version that came out in 2008. It shows players just how difficult it might be to carry out their grand policy objectives — universal health care, extending the Bush tax cuts or ending foreign aid — and still keep the government from either becoming irrelevant, or going broke.

“Our timing turns out to be perfect,” said former Rep. Jane Harman, D-Calif., who resigned this year to head the Woodrow Wilson Center, a nonpartisan think tank that developed the game with American Public Media.

Play the game:

Budget Hero 2.0

See also:
Budget Hero 2.0: Fun with debt ceilings!
Get Ready To Get Your Game On And Save The Country! (Civic Duty Meets Casual Gaming)
Computer Game Lets You Be a ‘Budget Hero’
Computer game gives people shot at managing budget
New Game Allows Users to Take a Crack at the Debt Ceiling
Computer game offers a chance to solve fiscal crisis
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
American Public Media
American Public Media

Okay, okay, so the game was developed by Lefties, as disclosed above. It’s still somewhat amusing, factual, and pertinent to our current predicament.

/give it a whirl, be a Budget Hero

Crazy Dayton Caves

Gee, apparently we can live within our means without raising taxes after all. The stupid part is that Governor Lunatic accepted the GOP proposal that they submitted before the shutdown even started. What a waste of two weeks. At least now, maybe Minnesotans will soon be able to legally fish and buy beer again.

Dayton Agrees to Republican Budget to End Minnesota Shutdown

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican leaders went behind closed doors at 2 p.m. Thursday to discuss a budget proposal with additional conditions that could end the state government shutdown. The trio emerged shortly after 5 p.m. to announce a “framework agreement” has been reached.

The meeting began after the governor sent a letter Thursday morning to House Speaker Kurt Zellers and Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch, saying he “reluctantly” agrees to accept the Republican budget proposal from June 30 if it will end the government shutdown.

See also:
Minnesota shutdown to end soon
Minnesota Government To Re-open As Gov. Dayton Caves On Tax Increases
Minnesota Gov. Ready to End Shutdown
Urgent: Dayton to accept last GOP budget offer
Budget Deal to End Minnesota Government Shutdown
Deal In Place To End Minnesota Shutdown
Minnesota government shutdown nears an end, but at what cost?
Minnesota budget deal pushes problem down the road
Doh! Minnesota shutdown could claim beer next
Minnesota shutdown puts MillerCoors beer sales in doubt
No free pass during shutdown; anglers must be licensed
DNR: No Honor System Fishing during Minnesota Shutdown
Some questions — and answers — about Minnesota budget deal and what happens next

Of course, the Republicans didn’t get everything they wanted and they still ended up spending more than their budget limit. But what are you going to do when the Governor, who has mental health issues, is willing to shut down the entire state to satisfy his obsession with raising taxes? And we still have to deal with Crazy Dayton for another 2 1/2 years, lucky us.

Anyway, now that this unfortunate episode is almost behind us, we can move on to more important things, like getting a new Vikings stadium approved. And I swear, If Dayton gets in the way of a new stadium and we end up losing professional football in Minnesota . . . well, he’d better have a real good hiding place.

/and remember, in the land of what might have been, if it weren’t for asshole spoiler little Tom Horner, we would have had a Republican governor to go along with the Republican legislature and Minnesota’s fiscal house would already be in order, without all of Dayton’s drama queen bull[expletive deleted]

Next Time They Shoot To Kill

Isn’t having Obama as President awesome? Because Obama still insists on raising taxes in a slow economy, something everybody knows would never pass the House of Representatives, the United States is in danger of losing its AAA credit rating. No one can say we haven’t had an impossible to miss or misinterpret warning shot fired across our bow.

U.S. Debt Rating Placed on Review for Downgrade by Moody’s as Talks Stall

Moody’s Investors Service raised the pressure on U.S. lawmakers to increase the government’s $14.3 trillion debt limit by placing the nation’s credit rating under review for a downgrade.

The U.S., rated Aaa since 1917, was put on review for the first time since 1996 on concern the debt threshold won’t be raised in time to prevent a missed interest or principal payment on outstanding bonds and notes, even though the risk remains low, Moody’s said in a statement yesterday. The rating may be reduced to the Aa range, and there is no assurance Moody’s would restore its top rating, even if a default is quickly “cured.”

See also:
Moody’s May Downgrade U.S. Debt, If Crisis Isn’t Resolved
Moody’s: If U.S. Misses Debt Payment, Rating Could Be Cut Next Day
Moody’s moves on US credit rating
Moody’s puts debt rating on review
Moody’s downgrade threat adds to US woes
Moody’s considers downgrading U.S. credit rating
Moody’s Puts U.S. AAA Credit Rating at Risk of Downgrade
US debt crunch: A nation taken to the limit
Reports: S&P Says U.S. Rating Could Be Downgraded If It Misses Any Payments
Cost of Protecting U.S. Debt Rises on Moody’s Action

Boy oh boy, you think we have a debt problem now? Just watch what happens if our debt rating gets cut. It will immediately become more expensive to borrow money, thus compounding our already beyond serious debt woes, a self inflicted wound, like tasering ourselves in the neck. Obama needs to drop his, non starter in the House, tax increase obsession and get on with increasing the debt ceiling. You know, if Obama wanted to intentionally destroy the U.S. economy, he couldn’t be doing a better job. Is he the President or an enemy of the United States?

/if you’re ever wondering what Obama might be thinking of regarding U.S. economic policy, just ask yourself, what would Vladimir Putin do (WWVPD)?