rvingretiree

Last active
5 months, 2 weeks ago
  • I’ve noticed here in the Bay Area (East Bay), Comcast has dropped RT from their lineup this afternoon. I have no idea if this is deliberate and permanent …

  • rvingretiree commented on the diary post William Blum: The Anti-Empire Report #126 – UKRAINE by GREYDOG.

    2014-03-09 08:18:02View | Delete

    As I read letter after letter challenging this assertion (about JFK), the thought occurred to me: This is just what we heard for four years concerning Barack Obama – In his second term the genuine liberal and man of peace would emerge; the Nobel Peace Laureate would show why he deserved the prize. Well, do I [...]

  • rvingretiree commented on the blog post How Much Capital Is Enough?

    2013-11-03 14:27:26View | Delete

    I notice Ken Rogoff also endorses something like Krugman’s inflation proposals, one area where this odd couple agree, to our detriment …

  • rvingretiree commented on the diary post Obama DEA employs ‘smashing’ new tactic to intimidate cannabis pharmacies by acmerecords.

    2013-08-25 20:39:52View | Delete

    Pot Doctors are allowed to be very arbitrary with no or minimal background.

    As long as patients are not minors, and get a doctor’s agreement, I see little reason why they shouldn’t be arbitrary. If they actually abuse the stuff (DWI, etc.), that’s a separate issue. Absent such abuse, if they feel it helps, that should [...]

  • rvingretiree commented on the blog post I’m glad Georgia is on someone’s mind

    2013-08-09 10:04:53View | Delete

    Once upon a time, the grandparents of these same Georgia folks were strong supporters of FDR and the New Deal, so it’s worth remembering that political liberalism (as defined in the 1930′s) is not incompatible with religious beliefs. William Jennings Bryan was another example of a populist who believed in supporting the common people even while he was a fundamentalist.

    I grew up in Georgia back when it still was part of the New Deal coalition, even if it was closer to the right end of that spectrum …

  • The only thing I’ve heard is that Abe wants to restart several nukes to avert electricity shortages. For all I know, they’ve gone ahead and done that, in spite of public opposition …

  • From what I’ve read, Abenomics is mainly a huge surge of quantitative easing for the banks and bond market. It’s a mystery to me why that’s considered Keynesian, or a help for ordinary citizens (unless they own stocks).

    Japan does have an electricity problem, and could invest heavily in renewable energy to replace those dangerous nuclear power plants, but quantitative easing for the banks won’t do that …

  • rvingretiree commented on the blog post Balancing Social Security Obama Style

    2013-04-07 12:47:19View | Delete

    I’m aware that the “surplus” was used to justify tax cuts in 2001, but if the Trust Fund bonds weren’t ever booked as future liabilities on the normal ledgers, that’s a serious additional point, and might mean that surplus wasn’t even real …

  • rvingretiree commented on the blog post Balancing Social Security Obama Style

    2013-04-07 12:37:45View | Delete

    There was an article last week on Naked Capitalism. It seems to imply that the Treasury bonds that were sold to the Trust Fund were never entered onto the books of the Treasury Department as future liabilities that had to be paid back eventually. IF that’s true, I suspect it makes the Trust Fund bonds different from all other Treasury bonds in that respect, but I’m not an expert. Nevertheless, if it’s true, it’s “creative accounting” to say the least, and may be why they’re so afraid of ever tapping the Trust Fund. It could make them appear to have been involved in accounting fraud. Maybe someone else here can clarify this …

  • rvingretiree commented on the blog post Who Would Keep Their Euros in a Non-German Bank?

    2013-03-25 09:31:46View | Delete

    Buy U. S. treasuries, the safest investment on the planet.

    Unless you’re the Social Security Trust Fund. Then they become mere “IOU’s” according to our esteemed politicians …

  • rvingretiree commented on the blog post BREAKING: New Pope Chosen

    2013-03-13 15:50:46View | Delete

    It was a matter of Galileo trusting his esthetics more than Kepler’s hard won insights from calculations and (Tycho’s) observations, which pointed to elliptical orbits. That’s the same sort of trap the Church fell into with Galileo, ironically. In both cases, dogma was elevated over empirical work. Of course, Galileo suffered more damage because his opposition in the Church had real power, whereas all Galileo could do to Kepler is to refuse to help him gain acceptance. That’s still a blow however. Just ask any student who’s been slammed by an established scientist …

  • rvingretiree commented on the blog post BREAKING: New Pope Chosen

    2013-03-13 15:22:48View | Delete

    I went to an academic seminar around 1980 where a priest and history professor at a Catholic school tried to falsify history by claiming that Galileo’s theories were not very different from the Church’s teaching, after all.

    Galileo opposed Kepler’s (correct) Laws of Planetary Motion because he felt circular orbits were more pleasing than Kepler’s ellipses. That’s not that different from Ptolemaic logic about circular motion, nor was his treatment of Kepler so different from the Church’s treatment of him in spirit. Of course, Galileo didn’t have any power to drag Kepler to trial, but he didn’t do him any favors on that issue just the same. Even noted scientists are fallible in such ways, unfortunately …

  • Politicians think they can pull a fast one on the American people by claiming a cut is really just a “technical fix.” Since some politicians are scared of publicly supporting cuts to Social Security but also want to cut the program, they have lined up behind this terribly designed gimmick.

    For once, the AARP is actually doing something useful by sending out constant email blasts to their members telling them in no uncertain terms that this “gimmick” is a real cut to benefits for current retirees. They’re also providing quick letters of protest for their members to send to Congress about this. So Congress doesn’t have a prayer of sneaking this past seniors without them knowing what’s happening. This may have even made a difference in the “fiscal cliff” debate at the beginning of the year by scaring enough Democrats to keep this cut off the table then …

  • Most private funds would “invest” incoming premiums all those years, and try to keep them growing beyond the sum of the input amounts. I doubt if this is how they get these figures, but certainly variable annuities assume they’ll have more than just premium sums when one matures, and they have to pay out. Other than something like that, I can’t answer your question. I have heard that today’s new Social Security recipients can expect on average to withdraw less than they paid in, which surprises me …

  • I also agree with you on point 4 …

  • rvingretiree commented on the diary post Half a Coke and a Smile? by JP Sottile.

    2013-01-24 21:18:30View | Delete

    Keep in mind that a 6 oz Coke was much smaller than any serving size since the 1960′s. The very first HFCS COKE was “king size”, almost twice the old 6 oz size. So sugar wound up less damaging also because they were stingy with it …

  • rvingretiree commented on the diary post Half a Coke and a Smile? by JP Sottile.

    2013-01-24 19:37:12View | Delete

    The little 6 oz bottles of Coke up until the mid-1960′s tasted quite different from everything since then. I’m sure that was the last Coke to have sugar rather than high fructose corn syrup …

  • lasting longer is what HE wants, not what WE expect.

    Well, his replacement votes Republican virtually 100% of the time, as opposed to maybe 50% of the time for Marshall. And that seems to be what the voters in that district want, Republican votes. In other words, it’s a Republican district where voters didn’t want what, “we expect” …

  • I lived in Marshall’s district for a little while. He either took a lot of Republican stands, or he lost his seat in what was a largely Republican state, which happened eventually anyway. Not a profile in courage maybe, but he lasted longer than he would have otherwise …

  • rvingretiree commented on the diary post It’s Monday and Robert Samuelson is Confused About Medicare, Again by Dean Baker.

    2012-08-20 20:23:12View | Delete

    I’m also puzzled by a comment. I thought Medicare Advantage plans were prohibited from cherry picking, other than marketing more vigorously to healthy patients. If a sick person actually applies, don’t they have to take them?

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