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Friday, May 25, 2007

Why boomer-cons hate Ron Paul

One assumes that Ron Paul knows he is not going to be the next president of the United States - or even the next Republican nominee. Yet the Texas congressman is campaigning hard, aiming particular ire and fire at Rudy Giuliani.

Paul is commonly regarded - by those who have heard of him - as more of a Libertarian than a Republican. That is, he believes in minimal regulation at home and minimal intervention abroad. Indeed, Paul took a detour out of the Grand Old Party back in 1988, when he ran on the Libertarian Party ticket for president; he received less than half of 1 percent of the nationwide vote.

So it's little wonder, then, that Paul is viewed dimly by top Republicans - the party loyalists, social-issue-regulators and neoconservative militarists who have come to dominate the GOP.

"Blowback, or Why GOP Militarists Hate Ron Paul"
Concord Monitor (New Hampshire)

Another boomer betrayal: Dems 'cave' on war funding

There's compromise. There's also caving in. After four years of futility, it was Bush's turn to compromise. Instead, Reid and Pelosi caved. That's what this comes down to: An about-face surrender to the perception that if Democrats persisted in defying Bush's demands for a blank check, they would be seen as anti-troops. They would be at risk of losing their majority in 2008, or of failing to win back the White House. The war in Iraq just won a new least on waste thanks to political triangulations back home.

"Dems Cave on Iraq Withdrawal"

Daytona Beach News-Journal (Florida)

Alberta's pension fund dries up for retiring boomers

In April Liepert promised to appoint a task force to investigate rebuilding the teacher’s pension fund and extended an olive branch to the union - which claims the fund was so poorly managed that there’s not enough cash to pay pensions to a growing number of retiring baby-boomers.

He said the province would donate a one-time, $25-million payment towards the teachers’ $2-billion portion of the overall $6-billion debt, but only if the ATA was willing to sit on a task force to study the issue - and only if the task force isn’t interrupted by job action during contract talks.

"Not Enough Money for Retiring Teachers' Pensions"
Edmonton Sun

Under boomer leadership, pessimism prevails

Baby boomers are such worry warts. Is it really such a big deal if they have to postpone that bypass surgery to put their kid through school, or work well into their golden years to pad a sparse retirement income that medical expenses could overwhelm? Well, at least the next generation will have it better.

In their formative years they will be tested to death in pressure cooker, cash-strapped school systems mandated to meet underfunded academic dictates. Lucky students who survive the myriad program and staff cutbacks that make public education a crapshoot in America may move onto higher education and a degree that comes with a mountain of debt.

"Never Has Pessimism Been Shared By So Many, With Good Cause"
Toledo Blade (Ohio)

Boomer failures overshadow Sgt. Pepper anniversary

What Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is not is the perfect encapsulation of American hippie counterculture. A 12-year-old sitting on the end of his bed trying to figure out what would compel someone to dream of rocking horse people and marmalade skies might have thought so. The 52-year-old in the Lexus today has to face the fact that his generation ultimately failed and it’s time to hand over the reins to the next one and see what it can do.

Forty years on, maybe no album has touched Sgt. Pepper for sheer expressiveness and creativity. The entire hour of On Point could have been devoted to discussing this aspect.

Instead, we were treated to baby boomers growing a big rubbery one while fawning over the unrealized promise of their lost youth.

"Sgt. Pepper Is More Than An Excuse For Boomer Nostalgia"
Cinema Blend

Tie-dyed tyranny: Canadians fed up with boomer management

Aging baby boomers dominate the work force. They believe rules should be obeyed - unless the rules are contrary to what they want. And they tend to equate hard work with long hours at the office, according to a report released yesterday.

Little wonder, then, that about half of Canada's younger workers find the boomers a pain to work with, according to a survey of more than 2,100 employees conducted by the online jobsite

"Boomers: In Control and Not Winning Friends"
Globe and Mail (Toronto)

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Doomed to repeat it: Paul assails clueless Rudy

"I'm giving Mr. Giuliani a reading assignment," the nine-term Texas congressman said as he stood behind a stack of books that included the report by the commission that examined the attacks on the United States on Sept. 11, 2001.

Giuliani was mayor of New York when Islamic militants slammed two commerical airliners into the World Trade Center, a role that has vaulted him to the front of the Republican presidential pack despite his liberal social positions.

"I don't think he's qualified to be president," Paul said of Giuliani. "If he was to read the book and report back to me and say, 'I've changed my mind,' I would reconsider."

"US Candidate Paul Assigns Reading to Giuliani"


Selfish boomers and the shafting of a generation

I blame my own generation, the baby boomers, for failing to challenge our children and grandchildren with high enough standards. And our "me-generation" self-centeredness has bred such stinginess with tax dollars that we've cheated the next generation.

In a meeting with the editorial board last week, Iowa Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal noted that so-called "portable" classrooms that were placed at Gunn Elementary School in Council Bluffs in the 1970s are still in service. He contended that baby boomers have invested less proportionally in buildings than any generation.

"We Owe Today's Graduates a Chance to Succeed in a Complex World"
Des Moines Register (Iowa)

Treatment of returning vets a "stain" on boomer legacy

Local veterans Dan Rogala and Andy MacVie told me that when they arrived on a flight from Saigon and landed in California, they were met by anti-war protesters who spat on them. That was their thanks for serving their country in a nasty was in Southeast Asia. They were also called ‘baby killers’ and other names that can’t be printed here. Their experience was common. Other returning servicemen (back then, they were almost always men) had blood thrown at them on their arrival.

Despite the deep-seated hatred felt by many for the war itself, those serving their country didn’t deserve that. The actions by those members of my generation were despicable. As the memory of the Vietnam War fades in the rear-view mirror of history, their behavior will be a stain on the baby-boomer era that will be difficult, if not impossible, to remove.

"Talkin' Bout My Generation"
Niagara Gazette (New York)

Ron Paul: the boomer GOP's worst nightmare

Paul doesn't pretend to be a modern Republican but an old-fashioned libertarian one who puts the Constitution and freedom before politics and party. He and everyone else on Earth know he's not going to be running against Hillary next fall. And because of the trouble he's causing his philosophically lost and troubled party, he'll be lucky if he's allowed to appear in future debates.

"Paul's Mission Succeeding, Maybe Too Well"
Baxter Bulletin (Arkansas)

In the UK: scamsters target greedy boomers

This makes them prime targets for any organizations that want to separate the boomer from their money. These 'scams' are far more savvy and intellectual that those used on the rest of us 'mere mortals.' In fact, many people can spend several weeks from hook to landing without a slight sniff that something rotten is in the air.

"Get Rich Quick Can Leave Baby Boomers Broke"
The Thrifty Scot

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Boomer Congress: still on a spending spree

Most abhorrent in the Democrats' spending schemes, aside from raising taxes to expand government, is their insipient disregard of the coming entitlement explosion. About 77 million retiring baby boomers will tap into Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. The first wave becomes eligible in January 2008.

What Democrats have engineered is a fiscal train wreck at a time when the U.S. can least afford it. Unless that course changes, which is doubtful, President Bush should stock up on ink cartridges for his veto pen.

"Whatever Happened To 'Pay As You Go'?"
Valley Independent (Pennsylvania)

Boomer academia, education or activism?

Not long after I was hired at Napa Valley College to teach political science, I received a friendly invitation to speak at the Napa Rotary Club. After a warm welcome and pleasant lunch, I gave a presentation in which I argued that the way in which the social sciences are taught would change once the baby boom generation began to exit academia. I reasoned that, whereas many of that generation view college as a center for activating students to go out and solve society’s many “problems,” later generations see the college as an institution through which students are given the analytical tools to discover for themselves what society’s “problems” may be. It is the difference between activation and education.

"Putting students over everything else at NVC"
Napa Valley Register

Anyone have a million dollars they can spare?

Merrill Lynch's "Baby Boom Retirement Index," first published in 1993, is shaking up America. Although it focuses primarily on the baby boomers -- the 76 million Americans born between 1946 and 1962 -- the index is one of many loud alarm bells in a rising chorus encouraging not only boomers, but Americans in general, as well as other investors worldwide, to start planning for the future, to shift their thinking from current consumption and debt accumulation to savings and investing for the future.

"Retiring after 2000? You'll need $1,000,000"
Market Watch

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Boomerspeak: Hillary "rewrites history"

Instead of honestly explaining her transformation from pro-war supporter to cheerleader of the war's progress to tentative opponent of the war to her current incarnation as long-term opponent of the war, Hillary skipped right over the unpleasant past and tried to talk only about the future: "Well, you know, Matt, I think the important thing is for the Democrats to be united in trying to either persuade or require this president to change this direction now -- that's what all of us in the Senate are trying to do." Sure, why answer the question when you can divert attention and blur the differences between you and your opponents?

"Another Chapter In Hillary's Attempt To Rewrite History"
Huffington Post

New study shows dire future for boomers and healthcare

The first Boomers will turn 65 in 2011 and, according to today's report, more than 37 million of them -- six out of 10 -- will be managing more than one chronic condition by 2030. Also by 2030:

-- 14 million Boomers will be living with diabetes -- that's one out of every four Boomers.

-- Almost half of the Boomers will live with arthritis and that number peaks to just over 26 million in 2020.

-- More than one out of three Boomers -- over 21 million -- will be considered obese.

"Baby Boomers To Challenge and Change Tomorrow's Health Care System"
PR Newswire

"Not Your Daughter's Jeans" seeing gold with line of boomer "fat pants"

Not Your Daughter's Jeans played with fabric, patterns and stitching techniques to create Tummy Tuck jeans, doubling up on the Lycra to make them stretchier. The pockets are stitched to create a horizontal band across the front that reduces the stretch in that area, thereby — theoretically, at least — subduing the belly. A note from Sandal-Rudes is stuck inside the pants: You can thank me later."

The line has evolved to include shorts, capris and jackets. George Rudes said that eventually the company will launch a men's line, and then he won't have to wear the women's size 12.

"Not Your Daughter's Jeans Is All About The Baby Boomers"
Seattle Times

When "grandma" is a dirty word

This is the generation that says middle age begins at 48 and old age doesn't start until 75 or later, according to Matt Thornhill, founder and president of the Boomer Project, a marketing, consulting and research firm in Richmond, Va.

"Boomers are going to change what it means to be a grandparent," he says. And they want names that reflect that relationship.

"Don't Call Me Grandmother: Boomers Adopt New Monikers"
Jackson Sun (Tennessee)

Monday, May 21, 2007

The Hollow Men: boomer candidates, diminished expectations

Character ought to matter more than it does, but it continues to be redefined and de-emphasized.

The candidates reflect who we are and, with half of all American couples headed for divorce, we aren't as concerned as we used to be about the vows exchanged between a man and a woman. Ronald Reagan was the nation's first divorced president.

The traditional view of marriage as a once-in-a-lifetime experience is gone with the 20th century.

For millions of baby boomers, sampling illicit drugs as a young person was - and is - no big deal. If that disqualified a person from leadership, there would be a huge void at the top of the political, business, scientific and educational ladders.

"Political Class Isn't Showing Much Class These Days"
The Record (California)

LTE: Immigration scheme imperils boomer retirement

Illegal aliens often pay few or no taxes. Many don't pay Federal Insurance Contributions Act taxes because they don't have a Social Security number. Making illegal aliens citizens will bankrupt Social Security, and the baby boomers won't get their share.

"Immigrant Plan Unfair To Boomers"
Herald Tribune (Florida)

Blair, Iraq, and the folly of boomer exceptionalism

Mr. Blair's speech was shaped by the American-led interventions in Bosnia and Kosovo, and it overflowed with baby boomer confidence about the capacity of good intentions to set the world right. His vision was missing the astringent understanding of the fallibility of both men and nations that anchored the foreign policy thinking of Cold War-era realists like Reinhold Niebuhr, the brilliant American theologian. Iraq exposed that blind spot in Mr. Blair. The war has demonstrated again, in ways Mr. Niebuhr might have anticipated, that there are limits to our ability to shape other societies or even to fully anticipate the consequences of our actions.

"Blair Knew Better On Iraq"
Baltimore Sun

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Aging with "attitude" or just plain cranky?

The golden age of baby boomers, say experts, will ultimately revolutionize how America looks at and deals with aging, especially given the traditional youth-centered focus on pop culture, entertainment and image.

"Baby boomers are aging with attitude," says Bill Orozco, 57, a Los Angeles political consultant and aging activist. "The baby boomer seniors are active, involved in their communities and expect to live longer, healthier and wealthier lives than their parents."

"Golden Age of Boomers?"
Los Angeles Daily News