Christamas break …
So, this and that for today.
Ok, this here is just funny
People just want to work, right? Wrong. Many people don’t want to work. They just want to lay on their ass while other people support them.
The Social Security Disability Insurance program was created in the 1950s to provide financial support and health care for Americans no longer able to work because of injury or ill health, covering them until they get better or retirement benefits kick in. These days, an influx of applicants with moderate, potentially manageable health issues is contributing to a growing backlog of cases and adding to financial stress on the system.
Because many people who are awarded disability benefits stay in the program until they qualify for retirement benefits, the phenomenon has the potential to burden the system beyond the current economic slump. There now are 10.6 million Americans collecting disability, up from 7.2 million in 2002.
Once a person gets disability, they are there for life.
A residual American military presence in Iraq would have helped us achieve three security goals: striking al Qaeda and Iranian terrorists still active in Iraq; helping train Iraqi security forces; and dampening tensions along the “green line,” the contested demarcation between the Kurdish north and Arab south. Our withdrawal makes all three objectives more difficult to sustain.
Not to mention what it would say to Iran.
It did not have to be this way. Last year, American military commanders recommended retaining a minimum of 20,000 troops after 2011 to maintain stability. Quiet diplomacy had secured the agreement of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani not to oppose a continued American presence. That gave Mr. Maliki maneuvering room with his Islamist followers.
But this summer, extensive leaks in Washington made clear that the administration was prepared to consider a residual force of only 3,000. Such a force would be barely sufficient to provide for its own protection, let alone carry out the three necessary security tasks. This was understood in Baghdad—but how could an Iraqi leader ask for more troops than the U.S. government was offering? They could only conclude that the American government was not serious about staying on.
The administration compounded the problem with its approach to the question of immunities for our troops if they were to stay on. Naturally the U.S. had to insist on those immunities, which have been an essential feature of all Status of Forces Agreements we have signed over the past half century—including the one with Iraq. This issue was sensitive for Iraqi politicians but the American approach made it impossible by insisting that the Iraqi Parliament, not just the government, had to approve any immunities.
Must have been the awesome work of Obama’s Secretary of State. She’s just a genius.