Monday, 29 November 2010

Just Gotta Accept It

Today I kind of learned that my federal pay is froze for the next two years.  I was expecting a 1.4 percent raise in January.  (I stand corrected that this would affect 'steps', it apparently will have no affect on that....so at least this pay jump will still be in effect....for the time being).  So that's gone and I can settle back and just accept this deal "as is".

The curious thing....the government basically saved $2 billion....of the $298 billion that the President needs to find ways of achieving by the end of 2011.  Yeah, that's a fair distance to go....to find enough to make the public happy and get into an acceptable position with the Republican congress.

I'm guessing as each week goes by....he'll find another two or three billion.  By the middle of February, he might have thirty billion saved.  And then the ax boys will start on various programs and projects.  Social Security rises at the end of 2011?  No....I would not expect that.  Farm subsidies?  I'm expecting a ten percent cut by the fall.  College and educational programs?  I'd start thinking of ways to carve five to ten percent off my budget or face some idiot who just says trash human interest programs or pelican studies.

The curious thing is that we could have done this ten years ago but no one had any guts.  It took this mess to force reality into the situation.

So that new 54" LCD TV is off my list of new toys, and that $400 laser printer.  And I'll just settle for a case of Pabst and some beef jerky each week as luxury items.

Bringing Civilization to Pakistan

It is a curious bit of news....a Pakistani guy has come up and very upset over the loss of his son and brother because of a US-directed missile strike.  He wants $500 million in two weeks or he goes to court.  His aim in court?  CIA chief Leon Panetta, Pentagon chief Bill Gates and sine CIA station chief in Pakistan who was likely part of the plan.  Which court?  Currently Pakistan, but I'm guessing that a couple of US attorneys are likely thinking long and hard over handling this case in a US court.

It's an interesting scenario.  The US can't really take Ossama Bin Laden into court because no one will stand up and accept a case like this except the US....and no one would dare apprehend him except the US.

I'm guessing that the CIA and military guys would have a list of bad things these two guys did and they signed the strike notice.  A death warrant?  Well....we don't exactly operate with that kind of concept, and I doubt that any Senator would be willing to let anyone do this kind of deal except the President.

As for the round number of $500 million?  This would be debatable.  In Pakistani numbers....I doubt that you'd ever get more than $50k for a guy accidentally killed in Pakistan, and most of the time, it's likely to be $500 to the widow or parents involved in the case.  It'd be interesting to watch this play out.  The curious thing is that this sue-you-or-sue-the-other-fellow concept is new in Pakistan, and is a sign of civilization finally arriving on their front-door step.  They might be shocked at the door they opening.