U.S. Postal Service defaults Billions on Health pre-payment Bill

Notice the word pre-payment?

The Post Office …unlike other businesses it is required to Pre-Pay around $5.5 Billion in funds to cover its employee’s every year….

The Post Office wants to start its own Health Insurance plan which would save the agency Billions…

Andy change would require legislation from Congress which has not touched the subject …..

The problem is the main reason the Postal Budget has so much red ink…..

The U.S. Postal Service on Monday defaulted yet again on a prepayment for the healthcare of its future retirees as its finances remain in the red and legislative reform remains elusive.

The agency has blamed the payments, more than $5 billion a year as mandated by Congress to prefund the Postal Service’s future retirees’ healthcare, for contributing to annual losses of billions of dollars.

The requirement was set in 2006 when the agency was still thriving and before the economic crisis. But those massive payments, along with tumbling mail volumes, have since pushed the agency’s finances to a precarious position.

Last year, the mandate accounted for a large portion of the Postal Service’s $16 billion net loss.

“Without passage of comprehensive legislation as outlined in our five-year business plan, current projections indicate that we will have a dangerously low level of liquidity in the foreseeable future. Therefore, we will be unable to make the required $5.6 billion retiree health benefits prefunding payment due today,” a spokeswoman for the agency said in an email.

Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe has begged Congress for legislative reforms, including elimination of the annual prefunding payments and allowing the agency to run its own healthcare system.

Without that flexibility to run its own affairs, innovate and raise revenue, Donahoe has said, the agency could require a taxpayer bailout of nearly $50 billion by 2017.

The Postal Service had been expected to default on the retiree health payment, which it has skipped twice before. The agency has said it is currently losing $25 million every day and has exhausted its borrowing limit…..


We have a Shut Down coming at us people…..Update…The Shutdown IS going into effect

The U.S. Capitol is pictured. | AP Photo


It’s moer of a partial one in fact….

Most of American will NOT feel any of it…

But people who work in those department effected WILL….

Right now my feeling is Boehner feels he HAS to get this to satisfy the Ted Cruz people….

There has a focus on negociating something in the last few hours but what?

The Ted Cruz group want the Healthcare Bill….

Right now Senate majority Leader Harry Reid and President Obama have made it clear they’ll talk about anything BUT….

ANY changes in Healthcare….

With that…..What Next?

Does this go on for a few hours?

A few Days?

A few Weeks?

If it last the long?

Will the GOP House try to drag the country into a Recession?

Just to politically hurt a President they hate?

Will their efforts to rewrite the 2012 election results work?

Will the President change his mind and delay the law or mandate?

How far will the Ted Cruz crowd go with this?


Update from twitter…..

RT : Reid repeats himself on saying the Senate will not go to conference on the CR.

President Obama late tonight signed the military pay bill into law, a White House official tells CNN’s Jim Acosta.

GOP Moderates try but fail to get a clean vote….

Nice try….

But No Cigar…..

In the end…..

Moderates and Pragmatic GOPer’s could not get the votes….

The Ted Cruz crowd have this right now….

The size of a bloc of GOP moderates ready to bring down a vote on the House floor over the government-funding bill shriveled from 25 lawmakers on Saturday to just two when the House voted just now to pass the rule.

New York representative Peter King and Pennsylvania representative Charlie Dent, two key moderates, voted no, while four hardline conservatives, including Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, voted no because the bill didn’t draw a hard enough line against Obamacare.

The episode is a reminder of how congressional centrists aren’t as reliable as ideological warriors when it comes to keeping threats. But it also took a personal appeal from Speaker John Boehner and the particular circumstances of the vote to sway the group.

During the rule vote, Boehner went to the back of the House chamber to deliver a message to the would-be moderate revolutionaries. “Trust me,” Boehner told them, according to King. Boehner said he understood their concerns, but he had a plan that would make the dire situation turn out alright.

When Boehner has made similar appeals to the conservatives, it has often fallen on deaf ears. In both parties, those further toward the left and right flanks tend to have greater certitude about their views, prompting a willingness to buck the party line. Moderates, by their very nature, make unlikely participants in a rump rebellion…..


If the Congress keeps the CR unfunded and Does NOT increase the Debt Ceiling?

We do NOT know….

But the country WOULD be in Deep Shit…….

How a Debt-Ceiling Crisis Could Become a Financial Crisis

Come mid-October, the United States will have only $30 billion of cash on hand. On any given day, its net payments can reach as high as $60 billion. That means that unless Congress raises the debt ceiling, allowing the Treasury to issue new debt, the United States may find itself unable to make all of its payments — stiffing government contractors, or state and local governments, or even its bondholders.

Economists widely agree that such an unprecedented event would have profound effects for the markets, likely precipitating a stock-market sell-off and setting off a round of global financial turbulence. But it has always been a little unclear just how it may play out. The Treasury might announce it would be forced to delay some payments, promising to do what it could to make sure bondholders were made whole. But then what?

The team at RBC Capital Markets has put together a terrifying play-by-play for the Alphaville blog of The Financial Times. It shows how a debt-ceiling breach would translate quickly into a credit crunch and financial crisis with some disconcerting similarities to 2008. Get ready for some scary reading:

Let us be perfectly clear: crossing the debt ceiling would be catastrophic. The Treasury’s systems do not clearly mark what scheduled payments are for what reasons, so it is impractical to try to prioritize payments. And clearing systems like Fedwire do not allow defaulted securities to flow, so the system would seize. In order for the clearing systems to work, the Treasury would need to notify the market of a default almost a day before the default happened (to give everyone time to modify payments), and that is not going to happen because the Treasury will not want to declare default while Congress still has time to pass a bill. Also the Fed does not take defaulted securities as collateral at the discount window, even if those securities are still trading at par…..



David Gergen on CNN mentions a Debt Ceiling hold as an economic disaster from what his economic  people tells him….

Sailing: Hamilton Island Yacht Club confirmed as “Challenger of Record” for 35th America’s Cup



The following statement was issued by the Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC), the defender and trustee of the America’s Cup, on Monday, September 30:

Hamilton Island Yacht Club (HIYC), located on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, Australia, has challenged for the 35th America’s Cup. HIYC’s challenge has been accepted by the Golden Gate Yacht Club, which remains the Defender and Trustee of the world’s oldest international sporting trophy after its team, ORACLE TEAM USA owned by Larry Ellison, won the 34th America’s Cup in San Francisco last Wednesday.

For the past three decades HIYC has run Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, which has become the largest annual regatta in Australia with some 200 offshore yachts competing in recent years.

HIYC is led by Australian winemaker and sailing legend Bob Oatley, whose succession of yachts named Wild Oats have dominated ocean racing in Australia for years, including having won six of the last eight Sydney-Hobart races. An Australian team led by Mr. Oatley won the last Admiral’s Cup, widely regarded as the world’s top prize in ocean racing.

The challenge was filed by Mr. Oatley and his son, Sandy, on behalf of HIYC shortly after ORACLE TEAM USA won the thrilling deciding final race in the 34th America’s Cup against Emirates Team New Zealand on San Francisco Bay on September 25th.

“We are delighted to have Hamilton Island Yacht Club and the Oatley’s leading Australia back into the America’s Cup for the first time since 2000,” said GGYC Vice Commodore and America’s Cup liaison Tom Ehman. “Hamilton Island’s challenge was filed on the day Australia was celebrating the 30th anniversary of Australia II’s historic win in the 1983 America’s Cup off Newport, RI, which ended New York Yacht Club’s 132-year reign as the Cup’s defender.”

“Given Australia’s previous success in the America’s Cup, the Admiral’s Cup and Olympic yachting, and as proud Australians, we think it is time for our nation to be back in our sport’s pinnacle event,” Mr. Oatley said. “The recently completed America’s Cup in San Francisco has revolutionized the sport for sailors and fans, and we were excited to see how many Australians played key roles on the teams and in the regatta organization.”

Vice Commodore Ehman added, “The dates, type of boat, format and rules are subject to negotiation between the Challenger of Record and Defender following consultation with prospective challengers, venues, sponsors and other stakeholders. Both Clubs are keen to have multiple challengers, as has been the norm since 1970, and to cut campaign costs for all teams. But first we must determine the venue, which, under the America’s Cup Deed of Gift, is decided by the Defender.”


GGYC and HIYC expect to have a Protocol Governing the 35th America’s Cup, including dates, venue, boats and other details, agreed and published in the first few months of 2014.

Daniel G.

San Francisco under the Rules of the Protocol for the 34th America’s Cup has 90 Days to say if they want another Cup in the “City by the Bay”

When you ask for butter at Dunkin Donuts that’s NOT what you may get…..

When is butter not butter?

When you order a buttered bagel sometimes at a Dunkin’ Donuts restaurant……


Craig Polewaczyk of Worcester was recently disappointed after taking a bite of a bagel ordered with butter. He complained that it didn’t taste like butter and was told he was right. Even though 1) he asked for butter and 2) his receipt said “butter,” the bagel was schmeared with margarine. No apology or refund followed. So, he asked me whether the chain was deceiving its customers, and I asked Dunkin’ Donuts.

Dunkin’ acknowledged its use of a “butter-substitute vegetable spread” when butter is ordered, with the caveat that some franchisees might differ in their offerings.

“For food safety reasons, we do not allow butter to be stored at room temperature, which is the temperature necessary for butter to be easily spread onto a bagel or pastry,” said Dunkin’ spokeswoman Lindsay Harrington. “As a result, the recommended in-store procedure . . . is that individual whipped butter packets be served on the side of a guest’s bagel or pastry but not applied. The vegetable spread is generally used if the employee applies the topping.”

That decision, and the chain’s lack of disclosure, is not fair to consumers, said Barbara Anthony, who leads the state Division of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation.

“You really do need to be candid with the consumer with what you’re doing,” she said. “The seller knows the difference, but the consumer doesn’t. That’s why this is an unfair practice and a misrepresentation — the consumer is in the dark.”


Woman’s pay by state…The Good and the Bad….

At some point or another, you’ve heard the stat that American women earn just 77 cents for every dollar that men make. But what about state to state? Is it as bad in New York as, say, Ohio or Wyoming? In a new report, the Center for American Progress offers up this coast-to-coast breakdown. The pay gap ranges all the way from a low of 15 cents in places like Vermont and Nevada up to 36 cents in Wyoming. (More story after the chart. Also note: CAP tracks what women earn compared to white men specifically, though that doesn’t seem to have changed the average disparity). 


Breaking..They’re working on a one week stop-gap CR Bill…..

As we get close to the deadline with the Senate and President clear on NOT supporting anything that will touch the Healthcare Bill some GOPer’s are trying to find a way to wiggle more time…..

The Democrats will give the GOPer’s the tax on medical equipment striped away….

The Hardcore  Conservatives in the House won’t go for it….

But there WILL be some Senators and House members that will bite for more time inspire of the Conservative caucus in the House…


We’ll be keeping an eye on this….

House leadership has told lawmakers it may on Monday again consider the government funding bill given the certainty of Senate rejection of its Obamacare provisions. On Sunday, House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of California acknowledged that the lower chamber will respond to the Senate with Obamacare provisions but declined to name specifics.

“It will have a few other options in there for the Senate to look at again,” McCarthy said. “I think there will be additions that I have found in the Senate, that Senate Democrats say they can support.”

That’s likely wishful thinking: Reid and President Barack Obama have said they will not negotiate on Obamacare as part of the government funding fight. This impasse has some Republicans growing queasy about the continued attempts by conservatives to link the health care law with keeping the government running.

“I voted against Obamacare and have repeatedly voted to repeal, reform and replace it, but I disagree with the strategy of linking Obamacare with the continuing functioning of government — a strategy that cannot possibly work,” said Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine on Monday.



Is Susan Collins considered the voice of GOP Moderation or Practicality?


…from twitter….

Top Dems saying there’s little interest in one-week CR, saying a “clean” 6-week CR is the only way to go to avert

Hours before the Healthcare Law exchanges start some GOP internal stuff…

I KNOW there are some people out there that think that a shutdown of the Government (It’s actually a partial shutdown) will stop the Healthcare Law….That is NOT true….

Depending on how the question is asked most American who something about the Law and its programs do NOT want the Government shut down to defund it….They just want Congress and thr President  to work together to make adjustemnts to get the law right….

The Republicans involved in Congress may NOT say it outloud….But they KNOW the Law is here to stay and that the current political thaetre is just a means for them to fundraise and play to the base of their party which keeps moving to the right dragged by a decliing Tea party …..


Very Few Support Defunding Obamacare

A new Morning Consult tracking poll finds that just 7% of voters support delaying or defunding Obamacare.

Think Progress: “On the other hand, 39% of voters want Congress to either let the law take effect or expand the law even further. Another 29% think that Congress should work on making improvements to Obamacare, but ultimately leave the law in place. By a two to one margin, the poll’s respondents said ‘the results from the 2012 presidential election represented a referendum on moving forward with the Affordable Care Act.'”

Are Republicans Worried Obamacare Will Work?

Kurt Eichenwald: “At this point, it has become obvious that history will look back on the four-year war on Obamacare as one of the saddest, most bizarre, and most dishonestly embarrassing episodes of our time. I have given up trying to understand the vehement opposition of so many who cannot offer up truthful reasons for their objections, and instead fuel the hatred and fears of the uninformed with the most illogical, mendacious, and fundamentally bizarre arguments that have ever been marshaled. By comparison, Joe McCarthy’s McCarthyistic McCarthyism was an exercise in reason…”

“So, what accounts for the current, last-ditch, fumbling-fuming on the part of the G.O.P. to stop Obamacare, going so far as to threaten a shutdown of the government in an effort to overturn the clear voice of the American people that was expressed in the last election? It’s hard to say. But I think I have an answer: The lies are about to be exposed. And the Republicans are terrified of what the country will think when the veil of mendacity is torn away.”

Van Hollen Says Cruz is Running the House

Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) told reporters that Sen. Ted Cruz “is dictating policy in the House of Representatives today,” National Journal reports.

Said Van Hollen: “Sen. Cruz is essentially running the show in the House. If Speaker Boehner doesn’t want to exert leadership he should go ahead and turn the gavel over to Speaker Cruz.”

All from Politicalwire….

Red State uses Ted Cruz to fundraise for the Consevative Cause…

The Red State site now claims it is ‘ a central hub for the conservative grassroots in America.’…..

A Test of Your Power and Influence

By: Erick Erickson (Diary)  @ Red State

RedState Readers, there was a time when we could ask you to open your wallets for solid candidates and within hours goals would be met. We did that recently with Ken Cuccinelli in Virginia and you showed just how quickly you could raise money.

But people still think you guys are not as engaged as you once were. So I have a challenge for you this morning — show the world conservatives are not disengaged.

But more importantly, show the world you’ll do what it takes to fund reinforcements for Ted Cruz in the United States Senate.

There are two candidate who need your help. Today is the last day of the fundraising quarter. And we need to show Washington that these are the men we want going to help stand with Ted Cruz.

Will you open your wallet for them today? They need money today.

First is Ken Buck in Colorado. Ken has a strong chance to beat Mark Udall. But he needs money. Ken is the RedState candidate in Colorado and RedState readers need to make their influence known. This is about you guys showing Washington you are in this fight — even against the Republican establishment. Ken will be with you.


The other candidate is rapidly becoming one of my favorite candidates of the cycle. His name is Greg Brannon. He had perhaps the most spectacular performance at this year’s RedState Gathering.

Doctor Brannon would be on the floor standing with Ted Cruz. He is an articulate, genuinely conservative candidate. Dr. Greg Brannon needs a financial commitment from you today.


Friends, RedState is a central hub for the conservative grassroots in America. But we need to show we mean business. We need to show we are serious.

The best way to show our seriousness is to fund these candidates.

Today is the last day of the fundraising cycle. Give today so they can tabulate your contribution on their quarterly FEC report.

Political Roundup for September 30, 2013…Red Racing Horses

by: shamlet

Senate:MT-Sen: It looks like the slowest major Senate race to develop will flesh itself out shortly. This report says that decisions from Rep. Steve Daines (R), LG John Walsh (D), and ex-LG John Bohlinger (RINO who would run as a D) will be coming within the next 2-3 weeks.

MA-Sen, WATN: In another sign Scott Brown is probably done with politics for good, he is selling his longtime home in Wrentham.


HI-1: State Senate President Donna Mercado Kim (D-Kapalama, Honolulu) is likely to run for Congress, joining a crowded primary field as the front-runner. Other Democrats in the race are State Sen. Will Espero, State Rep. Mark Takai, and Honolulu City Councilors Stanley Chang and Ikaika Anderson.

CA-21: As expected, ex-Stabenow CoS Amanda Renteria (D) has officially launched her campaign against Rep. David Valadao (R) in a slightly D-leaning but famously low turnout seat…..


Elizabeth Warren…the darling of Progressives…

Almost like TedCruz for the Conservatives…..

Newly minted Massachusetts Senator Warren is now the star of the lDemocratic left…..


After Senator Elizabeth Warren spoke at a luncheon in Beverly Hills, Calif., last month, women from the audience swarmed around her, many of them asking the same question: will you run for president?

Ms. Warren’s fiery speech at the national A.F.L.-C.I.O. convention this month set off even more excitement, with some union members standing on their chairs applauding and shouting out to her. And when she joined a MoveOn.org conference call this summer to promote her student loan legislation, 10,000 people got on the line — the liberal group’s biggest audience on any conference call in four years.

In Democratic circles, disappointment in the promise of the Obama presidency and unease over a possible restoration of the Clintons have made the senator, who was sworn in just 10 months ago, the object of huge interest and the avatar of a newly assertive, fervently populist left eager for a more confrontational approach to politics.

Ms. Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, said in an interview that she was not interested in seeking the presidency. And despite talk of a draft movement among some activists, it is difficult to imagine her taking on former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

But in seizing on issues animating her party’s base — the influence of big banks, soaring student loan debt and the widening gulf between the wealthy and the working class — Ms. Warren is challenging the centrist economic approach that has been the de facto Democratic policy since President Bill Clinton and his fellow moderates took control of the party two decades ago.

“She is reshaping the Democratic Party and leading its charge toward a more economic populist orientation,” said Markos Moulitsas, the publisher of Daily Kos, a leading liberal blog.

Ms. Warren’s fund-raising muscle is also getting attention. Democrats around the country seek her help, and she has a network of 350,000 individual campaign donors — a remarkable tally for a new senator.