Congress: “Bah Humbug” to Military Retirees

Military retirees are getting the short end of the stick in the budget deal struck by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.).

According to the Associated Press, the budget deal:

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, “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.”

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Super Max – Super Committee

Who’s the cat that won’t cop out…when there’s danger all about?  MAX!  Right On!

OK, maybe the theme song from Shaft goes a little too far in describing Montana’s Max Baucus and his career in the United States Senate – way too far – Baucus is really not cool at all.

Nonetheless, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has picked Montana’s Max and two other senate democrats (Patty Murray, John Kerry) for spots on the new Super Committee.  They will join nine others in cutting $1.5 trillion from the federal budget before Thanksgiving.  The Super Committee needs seven votes to pass anything – Max Baucus could easily be that seventh vote.

Baucus was “working” at a market in Billings on Tuesday when word came that he was Harry Reid’s man.  Baucus took time out from stacking the grocery shelves with yogurt to issue a statement saying, “I’m humbled to be appointed to the committee to help tackle this critical issue for Montana and the American people.” Continue reading

Caught My Eye…

Here we go – a three-day weekend is upon us!  Congratulations on making it through another week.

Please do me a favor this weekend – take a moment to remember and honor our men and women who died while serving our country – because that is what Memorial Day is all about.  AND, fly your flag, please.  Thank you.

Caught My Eye is my weekly column (posted on Friday morning) where I take a look at some of the stories I did not have time to write about during the week.  Sometimes I add just a little sarcasm to my comments!

This week I take a look at unemployment, the Patriot Act, odd news, my political inbox and much more!  So grab a cup of your favorite drink and take a break to read Caught My Eye… Continue reading

Amanda Knox

I happened to catch CNN’s “Murder Abroad: The Amanda Knox Story” last night. Knox was the University of Washington student who studied abroad in Italy. She is now serving a 26 year sentence in Italy for the murder of her roommate. I had read a little about Knox off and on over the past few years, but the CNN story tied it altogether.

You can read the story from CNN HERE.

First of all, Amanda Knox is not a murderer. Continue reading

Caught My Eye…

We’ve almost got the first week of 2011 under our belts, so congratulations! Have you kept your resolutions? Me neither.

It’s time for the 2011 version of Caught My Eye – where I take a look at some of the news and information that I did not have time to comment about during the week.

Today I write about snow removal, a balloon drop, two idiots, political e-mails, a moose, falling, and much more!

So let’s get going… Continue reading

Caught My Eye…

Nothing like a little Friday morning with 5-6 inches of “wet snow” to get the day started – and get your workout in, huh? For those of you reading this from some sunny or tropical place, there’s a ton of snow on the ground here in Montana. OK, it only seems like a ton when I am shoveling it!

So come visit Montana, ski, snowmobile, make snow angels and spend your money…

For the new visitors, “Caught My Eye” is posted every Friday and it’s a look at some of the stories that caught my eye during the week that I did not have time to comment about – and sometimes I add just a little sarcasm to my commentary.

So sit back and relax and enjoy the read. The snow shoveling can wait… Continue reading