Friday, March 12, 2021

Something Weekend This Way Comes

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As we roll into the weekend, we're being inundated with bad news from all directions. There's the $1.9 trillion "Covid Relief" bill which will do little for Covid relief, but will bail out mismanaged Progressive states and (bonus!) lay the groundwork for a national Basic Universal Income. On our southern border, there are reports that the number of illegals entering our country (wearing complimentary Joe Biden t-shirts) has tripled within the last few weeks.

The Dems just passed a Union bill designed to torpedo right-to-work states. Jury selection is ongoing in the lead-up to lynching the police officer who was unfortunate enough to be photographed in the company of George Floyd while the man was dying of a massive drug overdose. New Covid variants are laughing (and not in a pleasant way) at those people who thought themselves finally safe after receiving vaccinations. 

And we can cope (barely) with all of that. But a line has been crossed owing to the whole "Spring Forward, Fall Over" Daylight Saving Time changeover happening this weekend...

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Okay, this is just a bit of pure venting. We just received a letter from Social Security saying that Mrs. J would not be receiving her (already limited) benefit check because of "past due medical insurance premiums." Which struck us as odd, since we'd never been notified about anything vaguely like that.

So we called the laughably-named "help" line at Social Security to try to clear things up, and it went about as well as you might imagine.

We were told that we owed the gummint $700+ dollars for past due payments on Medicare insurance (parts B and D). Only none of our monthly statements mentioned any past due amount. And we had records of paying the full amounts by check every month. During most of an hour on hold, we also had time to poke around our online records and discovered that our Medicare insurance payments were ALSO being automatically deducted from Mrs. J's Social Security check.

In other words, we were accidentally double-paying, and STILL the idiots had dunned our credit rating for having a past due balance that didn't actually exist. They owe us money!

Not that the phone call put the matter to rest, or even helped. Rather, it was all baffling enough that the whole mess is being transferred to someone else's desk and we'll "probably" hear how the matter has been decided in 60 days or so. Assuming we'll still be getting mail after they seize our house.


Graham McDonald said...

This - the time change - too will pass. Just remember that politics resembles a septic tank - the big pieces always come to the top.

Popular Front said...

Greetings from Australia Stilton. Sorry to hear that you are going to start suffering from Daylight Savings Time shortly. I hate it, really really hate it. The good thing is it ends here Down Under in a couple of weeks.

I have a standard rule of no drinking before sundown so it is a real pain in the ass to wait until @22:30-23:00 for a G&T.

Did you know DST started during WW2 so people could dig their Victory Gardens in the UK and farmers could plough on into the night? One more thing to blame on the Brits.

On your other subject matter, we are certainly 'living in interesting times'.

Brie Camembert said...

Stilton, the "we all turned into Joe Biden" strip is a classic! Laughed my boots off.

BTW Hidin' Biden has just signed an Executive Order taxing Daylight Savings.

Jerryskids said...

Sorry to hear about your problems with the Social Security folks, but they gotta come up with $1.9 trillion from somewhere and it looks like you're it.

Cridge said...

What folks don't realize that the U. S. Capital has become the world's largest pork packing plant.

M. Mitchell Marmel said...

I've shut off most of my news sources except Stilton's Place and Twitchy, so if Mortimer Snerd gave a speech, I'm blessedly ignorant of the fact.

All I can advise is investing in precious metals, specifically hammers and nails.

At least we'll have more daylight hours in which to see oncoming "immigrants"...

Fred Ciampi said...

In order to be employed by the gubbermint one must be fluent in gibberish and doublespeak. And speaking of which, that's exactly what buck fiden had coming out of his pie hole last night. The only thing that was coherent was "My fellow Americans". The rest was pure mush. And I'm being kind for all the sensitive readers of this post. I wonder what's going to happen when all of the covid bearing illegals are dispersed to all points of the compass? Will it be the second pandemic? I better cook up some more moonshine. Probably need 190 proof this time.

Fish Out of Water said...

Your experince with Social security only underscores my determination to carry for as long as possible, private healthcare insurance (which I have my own personal issues with, but hey, the world ain't perfect).

Elbarto said...

I would say that I share your pain when it comes to Daylight Savings Time, but here in Arizona we don't participate in that particular lunacy. Another reason that living in the Copper State is sweet indeed.

Anonymous said...

Hey Dr. J. May I make a suggestion about your Medicare and SSA issue, please? This comes from someone who has been on the inside (40 years service, half in upper management) and sees how well squeaky wheels work at SSA. Please write a detailed letter of complaint to your congresscritter and both senators. Then complain to the White House. Management will be forced to get involved and they will be writing reports to the pols and their superiors for days. You'll be amazed at how well this works.

TrickyRicky said...

And a happy Friday to all!!!

Sortahwitte said...

@Fred. If you're doing 'shine, is there any proof except 190? Asking for myself. Bottoms up!
I only started with moonshine when the heart doc said: "no more alcohol."

Fred Ciampi said...

@Sortahwitte, Sometimes the proof depends on when the hooch starts flowing out of the discharge tube; the earlier you catch it the higher the proof. Then there's the folks who cut it with water. Boo on them. Truth is I haven't had a drop of alcohol since I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes several years ago. Sigh, I miss it (I think).

MAJ Arkay said...

@Fred Ciampi, I know what you mean. Was also diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 2018. Been using up the alcohol around here by cooking it into various dishes -- gets the flavor, but cooks off the alcohol/sugar. When it's all used up or given away as gifts, we'll have extra storage space...

We're building a still, but to make distilled water. Seems not a single store anywhere around here has distilled water, and no one can explain why. We need the distilled water for several rather important pieces of equipment, and mere purified or drinking or tap water won't work.

Weird. Just weird.

Barry L Plotz said...

As to daylight savings time messing with us on Sunday the 14th my son, the math casualty (his undergrad degree is in Math) pointed out that not only do we confuse ourselves timewise Sunday but it's PI day (3.14). Which is appropriate as they are both irrational! I gotta go stock the hooch cabinet as it's going to be a long month.

Bobo said...

@ MAJ Arkay: if your “still” giving out gifts, my birthday is Oct 3, every far.

Fred Ciampi said...

@MAJ Arkay I need distilled water for my nighttime breathing thingy. At first I got it from Amazon (very expensive) then I was able to convince my local supermarket (very small town in hillbillyland) to stock it. Turns out that a lot of folks in town use it.

John the Econ said...

Updating the Narrative: Remember Obama's near-trillion dollar "shovel-ready stimulus" package of a dozen years ago? Of course even though it wasn't necessary and the country blew through it with practically no measurable effect on overall unemployment, the Democrats called it a rousing success for the simple reason that had they not wasted all that money on their own special interests, things could have ended up much worse.

Today, the Obama-era retreads who are serving as the brain trust for the Weekend at Bernie's President are trashing Obama's stimulus plan for the simple reason that it was far too small.

On CNN Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader CHUCK SCHUMER called Obama’s $787 billion package “small” and “measly.” He added that, “We cut back on the stimulus dramatically and we stayed in recession for five years,” which he said indirectly contributed to DONALD TRUMP’s rise.

Get that? Because they didn't print 4 or 5 times more money, the economy (which they had previously argued was simply awesome because they said that the America that formerly grew at better than 2% was over) actually didn't go anywhere, which pissed people off enough to elect Trump, where all of a sudden the Obama plan magically kicked into gear and started working for people other than the 1%ers, rent-seekers and deep staters.

If they had spent 3 or 4 trillion more in 2009, then Trump never would have happened!

The irony? Mindlessly printing money in the hope for growth is exactly how Germany got the real Hitler.

Universal Basic Income: It's a bad idea that's fascinated me since being an economics student in the '80s. It's main appeal was as supported by none other than Milton Friedman, was that a UBI would be a far more efficient mechanism for managing poverty than the highly inefficient and overlapping government bureaucracies were. In other words, it would be much cheaper and far more better for people if we were to just eliminate the massive government bureaucracy and give everyone a check.

I'm sure everyone here already sees the problem in this: Does anyone actually believe that the Democrats would allow the firing of the millions of people employed by the poverty industrial complex? Of course not. We'd continue to fund the bureaucratic waste in addition to spending just as much if not more on buying votes.

After studying this for over 30 years, I could write a pretty thick book on all of the problems UBI would cause and never solve, but I'll leave with this last thought: Do you like what's happened to Portland, a city full of over-non-educated pseudo-intellectuals who lack the need to really work to sustain themselves and aren't interested in doing so anyway? Imagine a whole country like this, full of people not really having to work to sustain themselves with plenty of time on their hands to make life miserable for those of us who'd like to.

John the Econ said...

What happened to Medicare for All?: Don't worry, it's coming. Once the Democrats get over their current printing spree, it will be on the docket. They need to get something passed before the 2022 election cycle gets in gear so that they can again accuse Republicans of killing grandma to distract people from the fact that it was Democrats like Cuomo who were literally killing our nation's grandmas.

Speaking of, How sick are Democrats? They were willing to defend Cuomo for killing at least 15,000 of our most vulnerable people in nursing homes, but it wasn't until it became okay to talk about his gropiness that his governorship became in peril.

The Border Crisis: (At least it would have been called a crisis 5 months ago.) So the border is now, for all practical purposes "open", with ICE being discouraged from even bothering with "catch and release".

Can any Democrat anywhere rationalize how UBI or "Medicaid for All" would be compatible with open borders?

Social Insecurity: Sorry again to hear about your travails against the obviously insane. It's something that should serve as another obvious lesson to those who don't understand the difference between the private sector and when the government runs something. If a private entity had done something absurd like this, you could go to court and not only demand your money back, but interest and perhaps even punitive damages. Assuming that you ever get this straightened out (and good luck getting your money back) I doubt you'll get so much as an apology letter.

Just wait until these same people are in charge of your health care.

Anonymous said...

Recently my hospital billed me for the balance of a bill after Medicare had paid its share. I called the hospital, and was told that someone had failed to press a button, which was why my supplemental insurance hadn't covered the rest. She said she had taken care of it. After a few days, I was billed again, talked to someone else, who said that she didn't understand how it could have been taken care of that way, and my supplemental insurance hadn't been paid. I called the supplemental, who said they had not been billed; she helped me call Medicare, who said they had in fact contacted the supplemental, but could not do it again. The Medicare person said that she would send me a paper, by mail, showing me that they had contacted the supplemental.
Stay tuned.

Fish Out of Water said...

I'd like to share something personal to illustrate a couple of points.

My late mother's side of the family had a rotten cardio-history. Of the seven members of the family, all but 2 passed on from cardio problems. The 2 that didn't: one died in a traffic accident while young and the other lived until her mid-nineties. So not surprisingly, I have cholesterol issues.

After years of trying to control this through diet and oral medication, my cardio guy said he didn't like what he was seeing and wanted to put me on an injectable medication. Now by doing this this would (hopefully head off an increased possibility of a coronary which I might not live through) or other heart disease and associated costs $$$$$$$$$ for treatment- keeping me alive.

Now this injectable medication is not cheap. Without any coverage a monthly dosage would run about $450. But in terms of cost-benefit, it would seem cheaper to approve this medication and have me use it.

Not so according to the insurance company. My cardio guy, bless his heart, fought for 2 years to get approval and once I started using it after a few months and then blood work. "Holy shit, this stuff works!". My bad cholesterol had plummeted.

Happy ending? No. The insurer shortly after the blood work said I did not need it now which led to another long drawn out but in the end, I was re-approved and will start taking the medication again after a blank of 4 months or so- start from zero.

Now to the points I wish to make. First I was dealing with a for profit insurer. I can't imagine the nightmare (or outcome) had I and the cardiologist dealt with if instead of the insurer, we dealing with a Medicaid for all bureaucracy.

The other point is that as much as I hate the government trying to 'fix' things (and my professional career bears this out) its pig-headed obstinacy on the part of the insurer that invites government intervention.

Lee The Voice said...


Gorgon Zola said...

I get all the distilled H2O I need from the dehumidifier during the summer. I bought some 1-gallon jugs for cheap and refill them every year.

Pete (Detroit) said...

DST is SO popular here that there are two bills (one in each house - also, why the HECK we need a state senate is beyond me) to make the change permanent.

I have a clock that's a pain in the ass to reset (on the stove, a 70's vintage RadarRange) so it stays on DST permanently...

UBI - I'd about be FOR it, if a) the attendant goobermint BS would go away, and b) the parasites would get sterilized and stay home playing video games all day. But as JtheE points out, neither will...

Michael Riles said...

Newsflash: The US will meet with the Communist China in Alaska.

To the tune North to Alaska

When Biden was elected
he was quiet about them.
In Red Lenin China
it's US devils who'll bend.
They'll overtake the USA
A land that butchered millions of folks,
where only the party lives free.

But they have the money,
the milk and the honey,
so north to Alaska
old Joe
we'll see him go.

they really blow.