Sunday, October 10, 2010

Crippling Reliance On Social Security

While reading an Associated Press article today on Social Security that you can read HERE, the following two sentences really stood out. "Social Security was the primary source of income for 64 percent of retirees who got benefits in 2008, according to the Social Security Administration. A third relied on Social Security for at least 90 percent of their income."

These statistics explain a lot, I think, about why 'real' Social Security reform is so politically perilous. 

This broadly-based dependency can't be what was originally intended, I thought.  So I did a little online research just now about its history and stumbled upon the following factoid.  "The first monthly payment was issued on January 31, 1940 to Ida May Fuller of Ludlow, Vermont. In 1937, 1938 and 1939 she paid a total of $24.75 into the Social Security System. Her first check was for $22.54. After her second check, Fuller already had received more than she contributed over the three-year period. She lived to be 100 and collected a total of $22,888.92."  That's a photo of Ida May above.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Brett Favre "Sexting"

The NFL announced yesterday it was investigating claims that Brett Favre, "sent lewd photos and messages to a sexy team sideline reporter in a brash bid to charm the buxom beauty," according to a New York Post article that you can read HERE (which includes photos of the "buxom beauty" and former Maxim model, Jennifer Sterger). This is alleged to have occurred when Favre played for the New York Jets in 2008. 

This story is surprising at first for two reasons.  For one, Favre has a famously close relationship with his wife of 15 years, Deanna, whom he initially met in high school.  The other is that Favre is alleged, among other things, to have sent Ms. Sterger photos of his genitals. Whoa.  Brett Favre?  He's 41 years old.  And a grandfather.

But like the best of these sorts of stories, there's a rich depth of detail beyond the headlines.  The article goes on to note that, at the same time,  Favre also allegedly pursued two female massage therapists who worked for the Jets.  And as with Tiger Woods, Ms. Sterger apparently kept Favre's incriminating voicemails, one of which reportedly was, "Jenn, it's not a setup. Just got done with practice, got meetings here for a couple more hours then I'm going back to the hotel to just chill.  So send me a text . . . I'd love to see you tonight. All right, talk to you later. Bye."

Favre's Minnesota Vikings play the Jets this week. 

Friday, October 8, 2010

CHiPs Star Charged With Securities Fraud

Do you remember the 1970s TV show about two California Highway Patrolmen called "CHiPs"?  It was huge in its day, and ended up running from 1977-1983. Erik Estrada (at left in that photo), who played "Ponch," became the much bigger star of the two.  

The actor who played "Jon,"  Larry Wilcox (right), has just been charged with securities fraud. He is alleged to have been involved in a classic 'pump and dump' scheme involving penny stocks, among other things. You can read more about it on the Wall Street Journal website HERE

The quote they pulled from the website of Larry Wilcox's own company was pretty bemusing.  The UC Hub Group, "is currently focused on Precious Metals, Gems and the Oil and Gas Industry. The Company is also focused to [sic] increase the value for shareholders by doing the proper due diligence to prove economic validity for the acquisition of the target systems, operations, company or companies."

When I was in college 20 years ago, a friend of mine swore that he once saw Larry Wilcox scalping tickets to a football game outside the LA Coliseum.  I had been sure that was a case of mistaken identity.