Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Waddle, waddle, quack, quack

Well, waddling is sort of the natural gait for us porky sorts, but the quacking is a more recent thing. Too much water for too long. It's kept me inordinately indolent. So a catch-up of misc.
From a blog comment: "Tea Parties are for little girls with imaginary friends.”
And a headline that might fret conspiracy buffs: 'The Associated Press: SUV hits, kills Md. Green Party Senate candidate'

A story linked from DA Confidential,, a fascinating blog by a Travis County prosecutor. He tried a murder case and the guilty verdict roused strong emotions in the court:
The verdict capped a tense week in state District Judge Mike Lynch’s courtroom, where on Tuesday a witness and friend of murder victim Francisco “Pancho” Iruegas attacked Hernandez in court after testifying.

The witness was then attacked by someone in the courtroom gallery. Read all here in the Austin American-Statesman.
A story in Yahoo Finance talks about a looming monster, the imminent default of public pension plans:
Since 2008, New Jersey and at least 19 other states from Wyoming to Rhode Island have rolled back pension benefits or seriously considered doing do -- and not just for new hires, but for current employees and people already retired.
After telegraphing his intentions for months, [N.J. Gov. Chris] Christie spelled out the details of his proposal Tuesday. They include: repealing an increase in benefits approved years ago; eliminating automatic cost-of-living adjustments; raising the retirement age to 65 from 60 in many cases; reducing pension payouts for many future retirees; and requiring some employees to contribute more to their pensions.

Read all of that here on Yahoo Finance.
And more of the same, from Bloomberg:
U.S. state pensions such as Illinois, Kansas and New Jersey are in a “death spiral,” with assets at many insufficient to cover benefits, payouts consuming a growing portion of resources and costs rising twice as fast as investment gains.

Read all of that one here. Texas is not proof against this mess. When we speak of fixed incomes, we may be saying 'fixed' like that cat you took to the vet.
One morning recently, the pore ole Vicad had a front page with a story at the top about the trial of a couple of Mexican Mafia thugs and a plug at the bottom for Hispanic Heritage or History Month or whatever's going on now. Guess the layout editor didn't consider the possibilities there. The Mexican Mafia used to have its constitution posted on a Web site. Can't imagine the Sicilians doing that.

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