Monday, September 15, 2003

Sorry about the old folks. But the wheels of the insurance industry must be greased with the few brittle bones to keep it running smoothly Of course I refer to the Republican plan to gut Medicare and chop Medicaid into tiny bits too small to be of use.

But wait. They're not done!

Look out for Sen. Charles Grassley's (R-Iowa) proposal to rewrite the nation's pension-fund liabilities regulations. Of course, Bush-o-rama is behind this nifty piece of political maneuvering, but it's Grassley who's playing the trailblazer here.

As I understand it, Grassley's proposal would do away with the relatively risk-free, government issued bonds traditionally used as investments for pension funds by large corporations. Instead, Grassley wants workers' employers to have the freedom to play high-stakes poker, so to speak, and invest in high-risk, corporate bonds (the idea is that SOMETIMES those investments make a killing, thereby relieving the employers of some of the 'burden' inherent to pension funds.

According to the Pension Rights Center, a D.C.-based watchdog organization, the switch could bankrupt some companies by raising pension liabilities sky-high.

Hooboy! Another GOP bite off the federal apple.

And then there's this tidbit on the wire tonight.

Francis Giberson, former Department of Human Services deputy commissioner for Minnesota, was arrested in Las Vegas and charged with failure to pay child support. This bum owes more than $106,000 in back-payments to his ex for his childrens' care and nurture. And despite the fact that he's a lawyer and rolling in cash, he hasn't paid a dime in years.

Now how do we get these sterling examples of human dignity, these moral giants predictably ensconced in our political-bureaucratic system, I wonder. I mean, hell, I know nobody's perfect but really, this flotsam shouldn't have been allowed to gain from a government job, which, as we all know, is as cushy as it gets for working stiffs.

And lest we neglect the high moral (morbid) fiber of America's middle-class, kudos go to ABC for landing the FIRST interview with Jessica Lynch - you know, the soldier wounded in Iraq and, subsequently, rescued from a hospital behind enemy lines. Well, sort of.

Never mind that there were no enemy soldiers in the hospital at the time of the rescue, and never mind that Ms. Lynch, bless her capitalistic little heart, was barely coherent. And if the predominance of reports are to be believed, she remembers very little about her rescue.

But leave it to the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) to treat her like a commodity, trying to outbid one another for the privilege to gush softball questions at her.

Diane Sawyer must be crowing loud and proud! After all, she beat out "The Today" show's pixie, Katie Couric, by one whole day!

Hmmm. I wonder if it's a coincidence that the interview is scheduled in mid-November during the networks' 'sweeps' week? Or if the fact that Lynch's autobiography will be ready for publication at about the same time influenced her manager's decision?

Here's to marketing and its uplifting force. Our lives are sooo much better for having slick commercial conmen and women crafting crafty slogans and catch-phrases we can all remember, eh?

Well, that's my rant for the moment. Didn't mean to take up so much of your time. So it goes.

Since I'm at work at the moment it's a bit weird because I have to look as though I'm busy doing company bidness, ya know.

So here's to Iraq, the 52nd state; here's to Schwarzenegger, the hulking conservative with the funny accent; and here's to world peace, which I haven't a hope in hell of seeing in my lifetime.

Adios for now.


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