Fridays Odds and Ends

For some of us, the good news is that President Obama has vetoed the bill that Congress passed to approve the XL Pipeline. Those in favor of the pipeline are not so happy.

And more delays to the pipeline that would bring tar-sands oil from Canada to the Gulf Coast are coming from Nebraska. On Thursday, The District Court in York County, Nebraska granted local landowners’ motion for a preliminary injunction to halt TransCanada’s use of eminent domain to take their land for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. The motion will make it’s way through the Nebraska legal system, a process that could take 12-18 months to get to the Nebraska Supreme Court. If landowners win there, TransCanada must reapply for a permit with the state Public Service Commission. That would add a three year delay of the pipeline  in Nebraska.
In the not-so-good category of news, there has been rumblings in Congress the past few weeks about cutting some Social Security benefits. For years now, there have been concerns about the program going broke, and Republicans have used those concerns to back their call for cuts. In an article for CNN, Paul Waldman wrote about this issue, reporting on a rule change that the Republican Congress adopted early in January that could cut disability payments.
His article is well worth a read as it clarifies some points about the truth of the matter and how the two parties use Social Security as a ping-pong ball. I particularly liked:

The point is, it wouldn’t be hard to come up with some combination of changes that could take care of the shortfall without cutting benefits. But for that to happen, both parties would have to agree on that goal. And there’s reason to wonder whether Republicans really want a Social Security that’s strong and stable.

Programs like Social Security and Medicare — which provide vital benefits to millions of Americans and are hugely popular — stand as a living rebuke to conservatives’ small-government philosophy. When Republicans tell voters that government can’t do anything right, they hope that the voters don’t respond, “Well, the government is doing a good job keeping my grandma from having to eat cat food.” The idea that the program is perennially in crisis, on the other hand, validates everything else that Republicans say.

Congress will probably work out the issue with Disability Insurance funding, just like they have in the past — once the GOP starts feeling some political heat over it. But Republicans will be back for another attack on Social Security soon enough.

Okay on to some fun. We had snow this week and Poppy and I do like to play in the snow.

She did wonder why her tennis ball turned into a “snowball.”

Instead of comics this week, how about some advice from Will Rogers. He has long been considered  one of the greatest political sages this country has ever known.

1. Never slap a man who’s chewing tobacco.

2. Never kick a cow chip on a hot day.

3. There are two theories to arguing with a woman. Neither works.

4. Never miss a good chance to shut up.

5. Always drink upstream from the herd.

6. If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.

7. The quickest way to double your money is to fold it and put it back into your pocket.

8. There are three kinds of men:
The ones that learn by reading.
The few who learn by observation.
The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence and find out for themselves.

9. Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.

10. If you’re riding’ ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it’s still there.

11. Lettin’ the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier’n puttin’ it back.

12. After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started roaring.
He kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him.
The moral: When you’re full of bull, keep your mouth shut.

There are quite a few politicians who could learn from that last one. Which one was your favorite? Do you know how and when Will Rogers died? Have you ever heard of him? I’m guessing not many very young folks have.

Have a great weekend. Stop back on Sunday as I will have a book review.

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