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Grandma and Global Warming

Grandma and Global Warming
It was a bad day for Grampa and Grandma today, as reported in our local newspaper, the CDT. First, the CDT picked up an Associated Press article by Seewer and Mohajer that examined how state cuts in Medicaid services for Home health care—which the states might be able to afford—are being cut, so that more and more seniors will be forced into Nursing Homes—which almost no one can afford. Home health benefits are easy to cut because they are not mandated by Federal law and the cash strapped states will do that rather than tax (A RESPECTFUL HUSH PLEASE) the job creators. A a consequence of this, the states will have to pay much more, but not until much later—say November.
G and G were then treated to a truly inane article by David Brooks entitled, “Fiscal crisis driven by inability to face death” in which he argues, by cherry picking the available data, that medicine is doing nothing much to extend life or to provide a less awful death, and people (and as a consequence the nation) —would be better off not taking their medicine.

Hurry. Send Murray a Birthday Card.

Murray Slepp and I go back a long way. He lived around the corner from me on Amboy Street, when we were growing up. His sister Mildred and I were an item when she was six and I was five, according to the local gossips. By the time she was seven, we couldn’t stand each other. It’s funny what some people think is cute.
Murray will be sixty three on August 1st. At Stevieslaw, we will be throwing him a big bash. On August 3rd, Murray will be the guy at Treasury who decides who gets paid and who gets stiffed should the government default.
Expecting a check? Send Murray Slepp a birthday card. He likes the ones that play a song when you open them and he has always been partial to Sinatra. We are not saying that Murray can help or that he is your last, best hope, but send him a card—make sure your address and social security number are clearly written on the envelope. How could it hurt?

Rebranding Pennsylvania

Rebranding Pennsylvania

We have just learned that the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission will be leasing land and water rights to the Marcellus Shale drillers. The money will go toward a shortfall of some 36 million dollars needed to repair 16 dams in serious condition. The money could not be raised by taxing the Shale drillers, according to Tom Corbett and the Republican led State and House in PA, because as Tom C. so artfully put it, “It will scare away the fish.”

John Arway, executive director of PFBC, put it another way to Smokey Diamond—our intrepid reporter. “It’s a question of efficiency,” he said. “Not only will you be able to catch fish in what’s left of our waterways, but you will also be able to cook them, on site, over any of the natural gas fireplaces which are a likely result of the Marcellus Shale drilling. “You might even be able to cook them right in the water,” joked Johnny

In a more serious matter, Smokey has learned that the State Legislature is considering changing the name of Pennsylvania to Shale.

Dumbest Editorial of the Month Contest Off to a Great Start

My old friend MikeK was not only a firm believer in his right to be anywhere, anytime but also believed that his right to move his mouth to emit sounds was protected by the Constitution.  Where we grew up in the Brownsville/East New York section of Brooklyn, his beliefs guaranteed a short but painful life.  You want an example? When we were in High School, we played a really poor Boy’s High football team away.  We had a great team and the score at the end of the half was like 52-0 and three of their best players had already been carried off.  Boy’s High had the reputation of providing vocational training for prison, so when Mike suggested we stroll over to their side of the field to the only refreshment stand, he got no takers.  Most of us were, frankly, planning our emergency route home—planning to skip out silently some time in the middle of the third quarter.  Surprisingly, a bunch of Boy’s High fans beat the stuffing out of Mike and took his money.  Who knew? 

So what did I take away from this?

Give me that old time...larceny

The Associated Press reports today that Standard and Poor’s will give the United States its lowest credit rating should congress fail to raise the borrowing limit—putting us in the same category as say Albania, Angola and Cameroon.  A calamity?

New Rule for Nobel Prize

King Gustav of Sweden announced today a new rule for the Nobel Peace Prize award.  The Nobel Committee will award the prize only to those dead for at least 50 years.  A formal death certificate will be required.

His Highness, Carl, when asked if the new rule was in response to the actions of the American President, Barack Obama, who despite the peace prize has continued wars in Iraq and Pakghanistan, engaged in a war in Libya, and used drones to bomb targets in Somalia, Yemen and a small country without a name somewhere in Africa or Asia, would only say, “who knew?”

No Poll Tax This Year.

Pennsylvania House Republicans, certain of passing a bill demanding photo id from all voters, conceded today that they would not be able to push through Poll Taxes and literacy tests as part of their new voting rights push.  As you may recall, the photo id law targets the kind of large scale voter fraud that never happens.  A spokesperson for Daryl Metcalfe, the sponsor of the voter id bill, said of a poll tax, “it is certainly worth studying.”  “Poll taxes and various literacy tests were the law of the land in many states not that long ago, and when properly modified could be made to work here as well.”

Personhood and Compassion in the House of Representatives

The Republican Caucus in the House of Representatives took an unprecedented step today in defining personhood for the purpose of legislation.  First class people will be defined as: a. a fetus or b. an individual earning more than $250,000 a year or c. a traditional family of four making more than $400,000 a year.  Those, voting Republican, but not qualifying for personhood will be able to wear a charming, American-made button that says, “Person in Training” in red, white and blue letters.

In an unrelated story, the Republican led House of Representatives voted to slash domestic and international food aid yesterday.  This will cut the Women, Infants, and Children program, which offers food aid and educational support for low income mothers and their children, by nearly a billion dollars.  The international food program, apparently less dependable than drone strikes, would be cut by about a third.

A spokesperson for the Republican Caucus was quick to point out that people will not be affected by the cuts.

Threat Leveling the Marcellus Shale

Smokey and I would like to offer Kudos to our local newspaper, the CDT.

Cousin Myron and the Bombing of East Yehupits.

Stevieslaw: Cousin Myron and the Bombing of East Yehupits.

Myron called me yesterday at two to tell me to turn on the TV.  Myron, as you may recall is a high school dropout and self made millionaire with flaming red hair and a temper to match. 

“What station?” I asked.

“Matters not,” said Myron, “Any news station will do.”

I turned on PBS in time to watch Secretary of Defense, Bob Gates, being raked over the coals by a bipartisan bunch from the Senate for our inaction in East Yehupits. Jim DeMint (R-SC) put it clearly on the line.

“Mr. Gates,” he said, “with active wars in Iraq and Pakghanistan, some sort of war in Libya and now evidence of covert drone strikes in Yemen, my constituents and I want to know why we are not bombing in East Yehupits.”  “Do we not have enemies hidden in East Yehupits, Mr. Gates?”

“I honestly don’t know, Senator,” replied Gates.

“We have enemies all over the globe and we are bombing nearly everywhere Mr. Gates, and you’re saying we can’t find anyone worth bombing in East Yehupits?” “That seems unlikely to me and to my constituents.”


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