Reduces retirement benefits for working-age military retirees, including those who retire early because of disability. Starting Dec. 1, 2015, the cost-of-living adjustment for pensions received by people under 62 would be modified to equal inflation minus 1 percent. Upon reaching 62, retirees would receive a “catch-up” increase that would restore their pensions to levels as if the cost-of-living adjustment had been the full consumer price index in all previous years. The change would save $6 billion.
The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) put it this way:
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) today joined U.S. Senators and other leading military and veterans groups calling on Congress to reject a key component of the Congressional budget agreement that would reduce the annual cost-of-living adjustment for military retirees and survivors, leading to a 20 percent cut to retirement benefits over the course of their lives.
According to Military.com, “The cumulative effect would be to cut the lifetime value of military retirement by roughly $83,000 for a typical enlisted member who retires at age 40 after 20 years’ service. The typical officer retiring at age 42 after 20 would lose about $124,000.”
I think the first time I saw the words “Mean People Suck” it was on a bumper sticker in the parking lot at a Wal-Mart somewhere in the Midwest. Some people say a band wrote a song back in the early 1980s called “Mean People Suck” and that’s where the saying came from.
Another one of my favorite bumper stickers is, “Tough Times Won’t Last, But Tough People Will.” I will save that for another day.
Nonetheless, mean people really do suck and it’s been evident lately. Here’s what I mean.
It’s always interesting to me when a major crime or event happens in or around Great Falls, Montana. The event seems to bring out the worst in people – especially those who get their bravery because they are posting from their Facebook account to the Facebook pages of the local newspaper (Great Falls Tribune) and the one television station (KRTV) that has a strong social media program.
It’s a tough job policing your newspaper and television station’s Facebook page and the comment sections on their websites. They need the traffic on their sites, and over the years they have come a long way in policing the comments. That journey continues…
It’s tough being a reporter these days. Instead of writing a story for tomorrow’s paper or next month’s magazine, news reporting is expected to be instant. You really need to beat your competition by getting the news on Twitter, Facebook, and on your website first.
I think I would love the competition in the news world to be first – and correct – and beat the crap out of the competition!
Having tools like Twitter and Facebook can also present other problems. I am sure many news organizations have rules in place for their staff when it comes to what they should or should not say on the company Twitter or Facebook page. They may have rules in place if they are using their personal Twitter account for their professional work.
Using their personal Twitter account for their professional work is where it gets interesting – and fun. Some reporters may put “Views are my own” or “Retweets do not equal endorsements” on their Twitter bio page to let readers know that if they have a few too many cocktails and Tweet drunk, or if they are just so ticked off at someone and forget the rules, they are not really responsible.
Late last week, right-wing radio host Aaron Flint posted a story on his Voices of Montana radio program blog about a reporter for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle (Laura Lundquist) Tweeting about Congressman Steve Daines’ vote on the budget bill. Lundquist supposedly called Daines a “Tea Party moron” on her personal Twitter page because he voted against the budget bill.
By the way, Flint disclosed on his radio show several months ago that his wife works for Congressman Steve Daines, so one might expect him to protect the home team.
Some people say that it’s not OK to say “Merry Christmas,” and others believe that those who might say “Happy Holidays” are lower than low – like heathen low.
There sure are a lot of questions about this so-called war on Christmas.
Instead of saying, “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,” what if I want to cut it short because I could really care less if the person I’m uttering these six words to has either? So to save time I just say “Happy Holidays.” Is that so wrong?
If I go to friends’ house and say, “That’s a beautiful holiday tree you have there,” will they still be my friends?
What if I visit a public school and say “Christmas tree” or “Christmas program,” instead of “Holiday tree” or “Holiday program?” What If I visit a Christian school and say the opposite?
If I write “Xmas” instead of “Christmas” will I be placed on a “watch list?”
What if I place a great big blow-up Santa Claus and some reindeer in my front yard, will my Christian friends look down on me?
What if I place a great big blow-up Santa in my yard, AND right beside it I place a nativity scene with Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus?
I know, I know, I’m looking for trouble.
This is America – I have rights! You have the same rights. Why do we have to make it so hard?
Here’s the deal: I won’t be offended if you say “Merry Christmas” to me. I won’t be offended if you say “Happy Holidays” to me.
By the way, if you don’t talk to me, I won’t be offended, either.
Full Disclosure: I have a Santa wreath on my door. Five feet away on the piano I have a nativity scene. For some reason I have two small snowmen near the nativity scene, too.
Welcome to “Caught My Eye!” Make sure you buckle your seatbelt – let’s get going!
If this is your first time visiting The Western Word, the “Caught My Eye” column is posted every Friday morning! This is when I take a quick look at some of the stories I did not have time to write about during the week. I often throw in a touch of sarcasm just to make you smile – or to irritate you just a little.
Today I write about Sales versus Zinke, Daines and Ryan/Murray, Morris/Waters Confirmed, Boehner finds his spine, Megyn Kelly’s hard news reporting, plus we have another winner who is Making Montana Proud!
Thanks for stopping by to read “Thursday Numbers.”
If this is your first time, this is the column where I take a look at the numbers that are in the news (in descending order) and provide commentary (sometimes spiked with a little sarcasm).
This week I write about Mega Millions, the VA backlog, unemployment, ObamaCare enrollments, Xbox, fee increase, Judge Pinski, Max Baucus, John Kerry, Tea Party, Colt .45, Cade Foster, wreaths across America, and much more!
The word “sucks” is apparently not appropriate to use on air at ESPN. At least that’s what an “Important Reminder” memo from a couple of VPs at ESPN said. The memo is posted on JimRomeneski.com.
Reading that memo got me thinking about how often I had used the word “sucks” here at The Western Word (TWW). As the creator and owner of TWW, I try to make it a tasteful blog, and I try to keep the “salty” language to a minimum. All comments are approved by me.
So I did a quick search, and I used the word “sucks” 19 times since this blog started January 2005. Each time I used the slang meaning for suck, “to be repellent or disgusting.”
Today, we can make that 20, so please accept my apologies.
Gallup recently released a poll that shows “Americans’ job approval ratings for Congress in 2013 averaged 14%, the lowest annual average in Gallup’s history.”
In shorter terms, Congress sucks at their job. That’s really the best way to describe it.
Of course, my members of Congress from (insert your state here) don’t suck. It’s the (insert Democrats, Republicans, Progressives, Tea Party) fault.