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Showing posts from October, 2013

What's That Stuff?

I’ve been spending the last several days painting our basement floor. Actually, I call it a cellar because most people have basements that they can live in and you certainly wouldn’t want to live in ours. It’s chock full of .........well ........... "stuff" I guess you call it so I can only paint portions of it at a time, having to constantly be moving the “stuff” and waiting for the paint in that portion to dry. Then, of course, I have move the “stuff” back and then move some more "stuff" and then start painting again.
I guess a better method would be to paint a portion every year rather than wait until the whole darned thing needs painting.
Actually, most of the “stuff” down there I don’t even know what it is.

ARA Friday Alert, 10-25-13

Harry Reid: No Grand Bargain in the Near Future
Key Negotiator, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, Does Not Want to Reduce Medicare Benefits
Detroit’s Bankruptcy Trial Begins
Troubling Trade Deal on the Horizon
New Hampshire and New Mexico Alliance Chapters Hold Conferences, Elect Officers

Harry Reid: No Grand Bargain in the Near Future
On Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) ruled out the possibility that a budget conference committee convening next week will reach a “grand bargain” that would cut Social Security and Medicare, raise taxes and reduce spending. “We are not going to have a grand bargain in the near future,” he said. Instead, he suggested negotiators should focus on a replacement for sequestration and forget “happy talk” about a grand bargain. The comments came a week after the deal he reached with Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling.

A House-Senate budget conference will be established to come up with long-te…

Example of a Forked Tongue

Here’s what Obamacare does for seniors:

1. Your Medicare is protected.
2. You get more preventive services, for less.
3. You can save money on brand-name drugs.
4. Your doctor gets more support.
5. Obamacare ensures the protection of Medicare for years to come.

And here is what Indiana Congressperson Jackie Walorski said on a campaign T.V. add before she voted many times to repeal Obamacare and then to delay Obamacare.

“I’ll oppose any cuts in Social Security or Medicare.”….. “This is personal to me because Martha’s my Mom. I’ll always fight to protect her benefits and yours.” .....Jackie Walorski

Now if that's not an example of a forked tongue, I don't know what it is.

ARA Friday Alert, 10-18-13

Budget Agreement Averts Immediate Crisis, but Threats to Seniors Still Loom;
Alliance Chapters Protest Government Shutdown with Die-Ins, Other Tactics;
Poll Shows Public Once Again Disapproving of Cuts to Social Security, Medicare;
Medicare Enrollment Season is Here – is Your Current Plan Still the Best for You?

Budget Agreement Averts Immediate Crisis, but Threats to Seniors Still Loom
The U.S. House and Senate passed legislation on Wednesday night to end the government shutdown and stop the country from hitting its debt ceiling. President Obama immediately signed the bill into law before a default could ensue. The agreement contains four elements:

The federal government will be funded through January 15, 2014 at sequestration levels;
The debt limit is extended until February 7, 2014;
A House-Senate budget conference will be established to come up with long-term spending plans by December 13, 2013 (however, there will be no automatic enforcement mechanism should a conference repor…

Politics As Usual

Here we go again. Partisan politics are threatening to bring our fragile economic
recovery to a screeching halt. We have once again reached the point where Congress has to pass a Continuing Resolution in order for the United Sates to meet its financial obligations and to prevent our government from shutting down.
Continuing Resolutions are not new. It has been 14 years since the House, the Senate and the president have all agreed on a bill to fund the government for an entire fiscal year. In the past 26 years, Congress and the president have agreed to a year-long budget only three times, in 1989, 1995 and 1997, according to a report from the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service.

So what is the big deal? Instead of moving forward and passing the resolution to keep things running, the Tea Party supporters are attempting to hold our government hostage in another attempt to destroy the Affordable Care Act. They have wasted countless hours and squandered millions of dollars opposing a …

An Easy Fix from AAM

An Easy Fix: Lower the Trade Deficit, Lower the Budget Deficit

While tax reform and social program reforms are contentious topics in DC, America’s manufacturing sector waits for our legislators to turn their attention to our problematic trade deficit; which has been staring us in the face for decades. There is an obvious connection between the trade deficit and the budget deficit.  More people working decreases demand for public services while increasing tax revenue, which in turn, would lower our budget deficit.

But we can’t fix our budget deficit or our trade deficit without addressing the elephant in the room: trade with China. China’s trade practices, including its currency manipulation and the illegal subsidies it provides its industries, interfere with our ability to increase exports and create jobs.

There’s a clear connection. In the decade after the U.S. helped China join the World Trade Organization in 2001, America lost 2.4 million middle-income factory jobs. http://www.epi.or…

ARA Friday Alert 10-11-13

Seniors’ Issues Front and Center in Government Shutdown, Debt Ceiling Talks
More than Two Dozen House Republicans Open to a Clean Government Funding Bill
Gerrymandering Has Made the Tea Party Stronger
Early Voting for Cincinnati Pension Issue Has Begun
Pennsylvania Alliance Holds Its Convention in Grantville, PA

Seniors’ Issues Front and Center in Government Shutdown, Debt Ceiling Talks
On Wednesday, a letter instigated by Rep. Reid Ribble (R-WI) was signed by 51 House Republicans, urging Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) to make cuts to Social Security benefits before the debt ceiling is raised and the government is re-opened. To read the letter and see if your U.S Representative was one of those who signed it, go to The letter recommends:

•    raising the retirement age;
•    implementing the chained CPI benefit cut to Social Security;
•    means testing Social Security benefits for higher income recipients; and
•    cutting the FICA withholding rate that funds t…

SNAP and the House of Representatives

A great deal has been written recently regarding the abuse of food stamps. The recent legislation passed in the House has cut nearly $40 billion from this vital program. I decided to do some research to try to understand the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) a little better. I was surprised to learn that the maximum benefit a couple could receive was $6.11 per person per day, based on a 30 day month.
This amount does not leave much room for abuse and pretty much puts to sleep the stories of exorbitant amounts of money spent in stores for food and other “goodies.” I was also surprised to read about what you can and cannot buy. I must also add that the $6.11 amount is the “maximum” daily benefit; the SNAP benefit is reduced using a formula, if there is any additional income. I for one would not want to try figure out how I would prepare three meals a day with six bucks.
With many of our retirees having to retire without pensions or with reduced pensions, it is becoming mor…
The Mystery of the Ship of Fear
by Jim Hicks

The freighter Pomona, scabrous with rust, heavy-loaded with scrap iron, was a week off the California coast, westbound for Formosa, when her first mate, Alf Olsen, realized he had not seen the captain for a day and a half. this was not unusual. In 30 years at sea Capt. Jacob Natvig, 51, had developed a real attachment for whisky and he often stayed below. But Olsen decided to investigate. He rapped on the captain’s unlocked door and went into the sitting room. A chair was overturned and papers from the desk littered the floor. Olsen stepped uneasily to the adjoining bedroom and stopped in horror. The captain lay on his bunk, his head gashed below the right ear. Blood sheeted the walls and filmed the porthole so that a ghastly pink glow spread over the room. A big green fire axe which normally hung outside the door lay by the body.

Hands shaking, Olsen backed from the cabin, locked it and ordered the ship turned toward the nearest p…

Alliance Friday Alert 10-4-13

Activists at U.S. Capitol Warn: “Don’t Use Shutdown to Cut Benefits for Seniors”;
Rolling Stone Explains How Wall Street Wins at Public Workers’ Expense;
Video Explains Affordable Care Act as it Applies to Seniors;
Arizona Alliance Convention is Held in Phoenix;
California Alliance Holds its 10th Annual Convention

Activists at U.S. Capitol Warn: “Don’t Use Shutdown to Cut Benefits for Seniors”
Scores of seniors came to the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, joined hands with Members of Congress, and formed a human chain in opposition to the Chained CPI formula and all benefit cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. The Congressional Progressive Caucus hosted the demonstration, as Alliance members joined with Social Security Works and other allies. The event was emceed by Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chair Keith Ellison (D-MN). Other Members of Congress at the event included Reps. Cheri Bustos (IL); David Cicilline (RI); Yvette Clarke (NY); John Conyers (MI); Elijah Cummings…

I.U. Health's Well Kept Secret

I.U. Health’s Well Kept Secret

Recently, I was diagnosed with a problem which required surgery. My family doctor, Dr. Dennis Dalphond in North Judson, scheduled an appointment with a specialist in Laporte, IN. After additional testing was done, I was instructed to make an appointment with a surgeon.  I was given the choice of three surgeons from which to choose. All were in LaPorte.

I preferred having the procedure done in Knox and I asked if there was a physician on the list from here.  I was told that there was a general surgeon in Knox but they didn’t know if this surgeon was “recommended” for this surgery. After waiting ten days with no call back, and getting the impression that the hospital in Laporte didn’t want the hospital in Knox to do the job, I called the office of Dr. Mangalore Subba Rao at the Starke Hospital and Physicians and was given an appointment.

I want everyone to know how great the employees at the Starke County hospital are and that their surgeons are second to non…

House Republicans' Shutdown Turns Seniors into Hostages

For Immediate Release
September 30, 2013
Contact: David Blank – 202/637-5275 or

House Republicans’ Shutdown Turns Seniors into Hostages
We must make sure these tactics are not “Rewarded” with Cuts to Social Security and Medicare

The following statement was issued today by Edward F. Coyle, Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans.

"The Affordable Care Act offers seniors free preventive care and closes the doughnut hole gap in prescription drug coverage. For House Republicans to say that they don’t like it, and are therefore going to shut down the government over it, is a preposterous attempt to take our government – and seniors - hostage.

"The United States is a country of laws, and the Affordable Care Act is the law of this land. Health care reform was not only signed into law by President Obama in 2010 – it was also ratified once again by the American people when the elections of 2012 took place.

"As a result of furloughs and serv…