- Politics and Social Issues
News Stories, Government Statistics, And Comments You Might Want To Think About.
Go to the bottom of the page for the latest story and comment.
As I read you come across statistics, facts, and information that many do not think about or realize. Here are a few to ponder and think about. Starting July 29, 2017 the latest story will appear at the top of the page.
* The news story today (07-29-17) is President Trump banning transgender individuals from the military. It is hard to respond as this story has no specifics are forthcoming. I agree and disagree with President Trump. I agree that transgenders should not be allowed to serve if they are in transition. I also agree that no military person while in uniform should be allowed to serve if in transition. If after you transition and want to serve I have no problem with this if you meet the requirements. I also agree that the military should not spend tax money helping any transgender to transition or allow if that persons transgender situation is affecting military operations.
* The news story today and the last few days (03-13-17) is the repeal of the Obama Health Plan and its replacement. After observing the developments you can only conclude that health care for Americans is not the agenda. Comments: If you want healthcare available for Americans start with making small changes. For example, remove the requirements to obtain healthcare insurance, retain that existing conditions must be accepted, allow heath care insurers to compete over state lines and within state areas, and so on. I am sure there are more changes to make and monitor it as we ago making adjustments. Does this not make sense? Let start getting a even equitable playing field. Hey, I have an idea. Why don't we exempt the first $40,000 from income taxes and we will all buy our own insurance and forget about listening to politicians who want to control us and tell us what is best for us.
* The Bureau of Labor Statistics published recently that a record 94.6 million Americans ARE NOT in the labor force. This is the lowest participation rate since 1977 during the Carter Administration.
* The Government Accountability Office (GAO) reports improper payments to individuals who are deceased or individuals who use the deceased identity have taken place over 124 programs across 22 government agencies. The GAO estimates that these improper payments which they say is pervasive totaled $124.7 billion (yes billion) in fiscal year 2014. This is an increase of $19 billion over fiscal year 2013.
* President Obama when he was in the Senate voted against President Bush's plan to increase the debt ceiling calling the President decision to increase the debt ceiling "a leadership failure." If it was a failure then what is it now when President Obama propose's it? President Obama is in his seventh year as President and how many debt ceilings bills has he signed or leadership failures has he been responsible.
* The Social Security Administration reports that their are now 14,000,000 Americans who receive a disability check every month and the numbers are increasing monthly.
* The Tax Policy Center estimates 45.3 percent of households will not pay federal income tax in 2015. They estimate this is the number who don't file tax returns. In summary the Center estimates there are a potential 171.3 tax units and 77.5 million or 45.3 percent won't pay income tax. The term tax unit is their term and others who study this subject. (Forbes Magazine)
* The Social Security Administration released the following information for September 2015. There are 43,728,000 beneficiaries (not including disability benefits) receiving retirement benefits every month. Of these 1,197,000 individuals are also receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) in addition to there retirement benefits. The average benefit is around $1,250.00 per month but ranges from $683.00 to $1,336.00 depending on whether you are a retired worker, a spouse or children of a retired worker, or various survivor benefits.
* In 2014 over 59 million Americans will receive almost $863 Billion (that is with a "B") in Social Security benefits.
* The Government Accountability Office (GAO) revealed in November 2014 that 60,000 disabled veterans in 2013 received cash benefits from three different programs simultaneously. This includes the Veterans Administration, Department of Defense retirement compensation, and the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). The report further stated that 2,300 receive $100,000 or more in benefits.
* There are over 52,300,000 Medicare beneficiaries. The estimated total Medicare spending is $600.3 billion dollars.
* Government spending per household reached $28,483 in 2013 and is expected to reach $43,261 per household in 2023.
* The federal government budget is $3.5 Trillion dollars with a projected deficit of $500 plus billion.
* The Associated Press printed a story October 24, 2015 that ISIS Revenue is 500 Million dollars a year or up to 50 million a month. Where does ISIS get this money? They sell crude oil from oil fields seized and under their control in Iraq and Syria. Why are these countries allowing ISIS to steal from their people and why aren't they willing to fight for it (a serious fight). A better question is who is buying 50 million dollars of crude oil from ISIS per month? Where should the finger point?
* The Washington Post issued a story November 4, 2015 stating that American Holocaust victims to get 60 Million dollar. The State Department will begin accepting applications. Reparations to be paid by France for deportee's who settled in other nations. Whether Holocaust victim deserve compensation is debatable but the war has been over 70 years. If there was an injustice then what is it now that 70 years later the compensation has not been provided. How many true survivors are still living. There were many victims in this war as any war.
* Good Morning America today (11/19/2015) reported that Russia bombed ISIS controlled oil storage facilities in retaliation for downing their passenger plane in Egypt. If Russia reacted so quickly and knew the facilities financed ISIS activities why haven't these facilities been bombed long ago by the United States and other countries fighting ISIS. Does it not make you wonder?
* On a news story this morning (12/3/2015) Russia accused Turkey of buying oil from ISIS. Turkey denied the accusation. Why can't anyone figure out where 5 million dollars of oil goes every month. It is larger than a breadbox. Does the world not have sophisticated satellites or intelligence.
* On a news story this morning (1/14/2016) GMA reported on the recent capture and release by Iran of U. S. Navy sailors who supposedly drifted in to Iranian territory when their engines failed. The story goes there there were two boats on patrol. One boat engines fails. Why did the second boat not tow them? Why wasn't nearby aircraft carrier or other facilities radioed for assistance. Why was the two patrol boats not protected with air power? Where is the second boat during all of this? Were they taken in to custody or did they leave the area? Why would the commander of the patrol boat not resist the boarding of his ship. Why did Iran find it necessary to release photos of the men in custody. Why would they require all men to apologize? There is more to this story than was on your news.
* The story this morning (02/29/2016) is the Oscars Award in Hollywood. While not a story about government and statistics it is worth noting. We talk about diversity, equal treatment and opportunity for all. If this is so why should we select an actress or actor based on the color of their skin or race. That is what is suggested by Chris Rock. If the members who vote for the winners do not judge some one worthy of an Oscar we must accept it. If you vote just to have someone other than a white winner what does the Oscar Award mean? On another note how can the audience at this award show sit and be insulted and talked down to by the host Chris Rock and not do anything. Are they feeling guilty as a whole about something? What example does Chris Rock set when he and others take the low road?
* The story this morning (03/01/2016) is how can Donald Trump be stopped. It is every where. The story is what can the Republican Party do. Can they run a third party candidate. It is clear Donald Trump has the Republicans, Democrats, and Media in a frenzy. He is a 69 year non politician learning his way but knows how bad the system is. If the Republican Party does not like Trump you have to wonder why they could not attract someone they liked and who could defeat Hillary Clinton. You have to wonder if this country can only produce the candidates that are running on both sides of the ticket if we as a nation are truly in trouble. If so we need a candidate like Trump who is unpredictable but likely has more solid values than we know. I do wish Donald Trump will start speaking more intelligently that I believe he is capable. I do not believe he is living in a vacuum completely which is any different than the national beltway occupants. Another question I have is why the media only puts out there the most negative points they can find and twist about Trump considering they follow these candidates 24/7 and hang on their every word. Surely Trump has said and done some good things. Are we bias? Duh.
* The news story this morning (03/04/2016) is the presidential debate last evening for the Republican candidates. The headlines this morning on all the national news shows is the conflict and attacks on Donald Trump. Comment: Why is it the news show only show what they think is the worst or most heated of the night? Was there nothing more substantial of the night from the candidates that the public might be interested in? If Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz think they are so better or above Trump why do they engage him with their own childish attacks and comments. Why are they not bigger men in their actions? This is like watching a circus and the media eggs it on. Yes, Donald Trump needs to show more respect on camera for his opponents even though we all know they don't like each for various reasons. Then you have Mitt Romney feeling he has to have a press conference where he calls Trump a fraud and other things. He does not however give any specific details of first hand knowledge. Just makes accusations. Shame on Mitt Romney. He and John McCain ran and lost. Get off the national stage. The establishment does not like Trump and will be trying to stop him any way they can. The voting as of today. Rubio-No, Cruz-No, Trump-Maybe, Kasich-Yes. May be I will vote for Hillary. Hey people if you have personal knowledge of who Trump is just say it. We all would like to know. Remember this is not a vote for anyone to solve the problems of America. This is a vote for someone who can start making logical decisions for America and its citizens and not for special interests of which there are many and varied. The list is too long.
* The news story the last couple of days (3/7/2016) is that Michael Bloomberg will not enter the race for President in 2016 because he believes if he does he will divide the Party sending votes to Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. Comment: Who is Bloomberg kidding. If what he says is right means no one wants him for President or he does not believe he can beat either one of them meaning Trump or Cruz. What an off way of drawing a conclusion for not running for America the country he proclaims he loves and wants to protect. Its like a leftist high five. Go Donald Trump. There is no shortage of inflated ego in the Bloomberg mind.
* The news media seems relentless in how they portray Donald Trump controlling what clips or comments are made. The attacks on Trump are vicious from all sides including the media, Republican candidates, Hillary Clinton, and others. I know one thing is most likely is that Donald Trump is not like they truly portray him or they know something about him but is just not saying what it is. Donald Trump clearly did not use some good common sense on some matters but I wonder what Donald Trump knows about them. I listen for a week the media beating the story of Trump and Cruz and their wives. I did not see one clip of what actually came from Trump but plenty of clips of Cruz saying how low Trump is. For as bad as some parts of the Republican race has been the media is worse and their bias is obvious. Today (3/30/2016) they beat Trump for not firing his campaign manager. Let the man go to trial if he did something wrong. Watching Hillary comment on this considering her own problems is funny and painful. Pray for America.
* According to the General Accounting Office the United States is leveraged in debt as a percent of gross domestic product at 74 percent, the highest ever. In another update on a matter reported above the latest figures are that in the year 2015 there were $136.7 billion dollars of improper payments. This is up $12 billion from the previous year. This same audit said they found hundreds of billions of dollars in transactions between federal entities. This is according to Gene Dodaro the comptroller general. (6/2016) Do we really think the GAO can monitor and audit the Government? How does your elected official ignore a $136.7 billion in improper payments and how do they know they are improper without taking corrective action?
* The news story today (07/06/16) is the decision not to prosecute Hillary Clinton for her emails. The FBI indicating that no action arose to a criminal level. Let's ask ourselves some questions. If a low level official used their own email server for government work would they be prosecuted? If Hillary Clinton with years of service in Washington ignorant of security measures and communications procedures? Do you think Hillary Clinton did not know she must use secured government servers when she made the decision to use her own personal server? Do you think that announcing there would be no prosecution of Hillary Clinton a couple of days after she was interviewed by the FBI was not planned. Do you think the FBI speech was written before or after the interview? Did not one in her office tell her that her use of servers was wrong? You decide.
* The news this week (07/29/2016) is about the Democratic Convention and Hillary Clinton. One of the stories is about Donald Trump and the father of the Muslim soldier killed. He was an officer in the U.S. Army who served in Afghanistan. Everyone one wants to beat up Donald Trump because he recognizes there is a connection between the terrorism and the Muslin community. Ask yourself this. What purpose was behind the Democrat Party in having this father speak? He was not the only father who lost a son in service to his country. Did they speak with the same intention? Is the father of the soldier saying that because his son died he has the right to criticize anyone he wants or thinks does not meet his standard? Does Trump not have the right to respond when he is attacked publicly? Is is clear the media reporting on this issue is bias. Listen to the full interview with Trump on this. We have more to be afraid of from the media than Trump.
* The news story (08/19/2016) that I thought was fascinating is from the Reuters News Agency regarding the United States Army fudging its financial accounts to make them balance. Reuters reported that the finances are so jumbled that the U.S. Army made $2.8 trillion (yes, with a T) in wrongful adjustments to accounting entries in one quarter (of an accounting year) in 2015. For the year 2015 the total adjustments were 6.5 trillion. The army did not have receipts or invoices to support the accounting adjustments and just likely made them up. This report is on just the Army's General Fund the biggest of its two main accounts. Comment: How would you to like to keep your finances like this. This is one fund and one branch of the military, and one year, and they can not account for 6.5 trillion dollars. What are the other government agencies doing, the other branches of the military doing, in one year and the other years every year.
* The news story this morning (10/14/2016)and every news cast is about Donald Trump. We are being bombarded with negatively about Trump. Comment: I have been watching this story for a long time and it is clear the media is out to destroy this guy with its uneven and slanted stories and how they are presented. They are not the only ones out to destroy this man on a new level. Donald Trump is no angel but another human being. I am not defending him as we all fight battles in our lives. You can not deny he is a successful business man and appears to have raised good children. As I have said earlier there has to be more they (the establishment and media) are scared of than what is out there. You got the Obama, Michelle Obama, Joe Biden, and others who are relentless in their attacks. These side issue and we on the side lines can not judge what the facts are not that deep unless you have personal knowledge and have brought this information to the public prior to a Presidential election. Former Mayor Rudy Guiliani supports Trump and their must be a good reason. I loved the stories done when the media interviewed other jocks in the locker room. When asked do you talk like that? They all said no. Do you believe that?
I do wish that Donald Trump would buy air time and speak directly to the people as the media would not want to publicize anything positive about him. For example recently this week Trump is holding a child and the media reports when things go bad kiss a baby story. The bias of the media is so obvious you can not take it seriously or rely on their stories of credibility to stay neutral.
* The story today (10/21/2016) is about Joseph Biden making a statement that he would like to take Donald Trump out behind the school building and teach him a lesson. Comment: Why is it that no one speaks out about Joe Biden and see through his life of non accomplishments and being a mouth piece. Why this guy has been on the national stage for 30 years is why this country is what it is. He has insulted many individuals and no one calls him out on it.
* The story today is the election (11/8/2016) and the outcome. Comments: I do know that I voted this day for the only candidate that could move this country in a better direction. It does not need the old retreads that are in control and on the national stage. I will not the media coverage including Charlie Rose, John Dickerson, Major Garrett and a host of others in the media. These people and the media are brain numbing and a insult to the American people. They can not stop making their predictions and creating controversy. They are in the business of stirring the pot of negatively. It makes you wonder if they are complicit with any control or know more. We all need a vacation from this election coverage, advertising, and the candidates themselves.
* The news story as of late (01-20-2017) is the Democrats who refuse to attend President Elect Trumps inauguration. Comment: I find this action from those who are elected officials of the democratic process a slap at the voters and american people as a whole. If these officials regardless of what they think can not rise above their own petty selfishness for one day and unite together for the process then that shows how shallow they are as individuals and in their thinking. John Lewis is included.
* The story today (03-4-2017) is Donald Trumps tweets accusing former President Obama of tapping his phones. Comments: Is President Trump having a melt down. I wonder if he could survive four years in office.
* The story today (04-10-2017) is the story of Trump and the bombing of the airfield in Syria. The media and others ask was it enough? Why do the media and the so called analyst think that sending 59 cruise missiles was going to bring about a regime change. If that was true it should have been done years ago before Trump was elected. The pundits who want to fry Trump do not have any easy solutions either.
* The news story today is the Paris Climate Agreement and President Trump withdrawing from it. Comment: I do not understand the fuss. Maybe I am naive. What I understand from this agreement is that it is voluntary with no penalties. If that is the case what is the point? Why do you need the world members to agree together to improve the environment. If you got a problem in your country fix it. The U.S. should do the same. If a country does not think it is in their best interest to improve conditions in their country and for their people what is the agreement going to do. Does anyone know the exact details of this agreement? Has the media again let the citizens down without providing detail facts to the public about this agreement so we can make a decision. If it needs done in your country or if your business is contributing to the problem fix it. You can bet that somebody is benefiting financially from this agreement. Who stands to benefit the most, France, Germany, others. We need to know more. If the group or agreement as a whole can require a country to do something you can bet the United States will be forced to do something while others in the group will benefit. Personally hoorah for Trump on this as I see no benefit. Even John Kerry says no country is required to do anything that is not in their best interests. You know he is no Trump fan but this is his statement.
There will be more statistics and information added as I take note of them. Thanks for reading. Please feel free to add your own comments and observations. I am sure there are others hub readers would like to comment on.